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URMC / Research / Research@URMC / January 2015 / Alzheimer’s Study Results Considered Revolutionary

Alzheimer’s Study Results Considered Revolutionary

A study led by the University of Rochester has landed on Neurology Today’s top ten list of the most revolutionary research of 2014. The official publication of the American Academy of Neurology selected a clinical trial led by Anton P. Porsteinnson, M.D., the William B. and Sheila Konar Professor of Psychiatry and director of the University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Care, Research and Education program (AD-CARE).

Originally published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last February, the study found that a high dose of the antidepressant drug, citalopram, significantly reduced agitation in Alzheimer’s disease patients. While the researchers also found negative side effects, Neurology Today’s editorial advisory board said the study is noteworthy because it is one of the first to offer a treatment option for this group of patients.Pills

Agitation can be one of the most heartbreaking symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and it is one of the most common reasons Alzheimer’s patients are moved out of their homes into higher levels of care.  Caregivers watch as their loved ones become increasingly short-tempered, physically restless, resistant to help, or even verbally and physically abusive. The citalopram study showed that, when patients became less agitated, caregivers felt less distressed too.

AD-CARE is planning to conduct follow-up research to help determine if lower doses of the drug are effective, with fewer side effects. Citalopram is one of numerous experimental drugs being tested at the University of Rochester, one of the nation’s premier Alzheimer’s disease clinical research sites.

Emily Boynton | 1/12/2015

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