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Pharmacologic management of Alzheimer disease, Part II: Antioxidants, antihypertensives, and ergoloid derivatives.

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By Flynn BL, Ranno AE • • February 1, 1999

OBJECTIVE: To provide information about research evaluating antioxidants in Alzheimer disease (AD) and to discuss the potential role of beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, clonidine, guanfacine, nimodipine, and ergoloid derivatives in AD therapy.

DATA SOURCES: Studies, review articles, and editorials identified from MEDLINE searches (from 1989 to 1997) and bibliographies of identified articles.

STUDY SELECTION: Studies and review articles addressing antioxidant, antihypertensive, and ergoloid derivative pharmacotherapy research.

DATA EXTRACTION: Pertinent information was selected and the data synthesized into a review format.

DATA SYNTHESIS: AD is a progressive neuropsychiatric disorder of unknown etiology. Studies evaluating the possible association between a free radical mechanism in AD and the potential role of antioxidants are reviewed. Additionally, the role of beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, clonidine, guanfacine, nimodipine, and ergoloid derivatives in AD management are discussed.

CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary evidence suggests that antioxidants may have a protective effect against the development of AD. Additional prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are needed to determine the role of antioxidants in the prevention and management of AD. Understanding the role of antioxidants in AD may suggest alternative agents that have similar pharmacologic activity. Beta-blockers may be an option to control agitation in AD patients for whom anxiolytics or antipsychotics are ineffective or are contraindicated because of their adverse effect profiles. Other agents that may have a role in AD therapy include angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, nimodipine, and ergoloid derivatives. Clonidine and guanfacine have thus far shown little promise in improving cognitive function in AD. Further prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials will be necessary to elucidate the role of these agents in AD management.

Source: Ann Pharmacother 1999 Feb;33(2):188-97
PMID: 10084415, UI: 99181906

(Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, Creighton University, St. Joseph Villa Nursing Center, Omaha, NE 68178, USA. )

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