Author(s): Mbius HJ
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Abstract Memantine is a moderate-affinity, voltage-dependent, uncompetitive antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. In contrast to competitive NMDA antagonists, Memantine is well tolerated in humans and is being developed for the treatment of dementia. The pathogenesis of vascular dementia (VaD) is largely unknown, and is likely multifactorial, but it involves the impairment of blood circulation as a common denominator. There is broad evidence for the efficacy of Memantine in several animal models of ischemia. Memantine also acts on several secondary, potentially contributing factors in VaD such as neuronal depolarization, removal of magnesium block of NMDA receptors, chronic overstimulation of these receptors, and, possibly, mitochondrial dysfunction. Among others, it also has additional positive effects on long-term potentiation and cognition in standard animal models of impaired synaptic plasticity. Recently, clinical efficacy of Memantine has been shown in an etiologically mixed population of severely demented patients, including those with VaD. Given the difficulties of diagnosing VaD in clinical practice, an optimal antidementive drug should be beneficial in both Alzheimer disease and VaD. Preclinical data presented in this paper indicate that such benefits can be achieved with Memantine. In addition, phase II clinical data in dementia are summarized, and two ongoing pivotal trials in VaD are described. Suggestions for VaD guideline development are made regarding clinical instruments, and etiologies and severity stages are considered.
This article was published in Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy