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Parkinson's Disease

Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and PD

11/02/1999

Question:

Are you aware of any acetylcholinesterase inhibitor studies for Parkinson`s Dementia? Everything I see is for Alzheimers only.

Answer:

No. In fact there is a theoretical objection to using acetylcholineesterase inhibitors in Parkinson`s disease. Part of the problem is believed to be an imbalance between the dopamine and acetylcholine systems, with reduced dopamine activity and a relatively excessive acetylcholine activity. Using acetylcholineesterase inhibitors may exacerbate this imbalance. My own experience with drugs such as Aricept has been that they do not help the dementia in the setting of PD to any significant extent and on occasion may worsen the motor symptoms.

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Response by:

Arif Dalvi, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati