The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare has issued a new report on Alzheimer's treatments. Comissioned by the German government, the report concludes:
- there is not enough proof that memantine (sold as Namenda in the U.S.) is effective in treating Alzheimer's
- cholinesterase inhibitors can "slightly delay" a decline in memory and thinking
- the evidence on ginkgo is mixed
- there's not enough proof that non-drug treatments are effective.
When you read throught the English version of the report, these statements aren't very surprising. More interesting is the statement by Peter Sawicki, the Institute's Director, in the press release about the report. While praising the country's increased spending on Alzheimer's treatment research, he emphasized the importance of meeting the current needs of people with memory loss and their families.
"We might be able to cure patients of dementia at some time in the future, he said, "but until that time it is important to improve the social and medical care of patients and relieve the burden on the family. We need reliable facts concerning which of the available options can best help them. That is why it is important to improve the investigation of relevant therapy and care approaches in studies.”