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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Monotherapy vs Combination Therapy for the Management of Alzheimer’s Disease


Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological condition resulting from the death of neural cells that causes a deprivation in cognitive functionality, communication, and motor skills in patients. The condition has an inordinate impact on older populations, with 90% of all cases affecting those 65 years or older1. As the most common type of dementia, comprising approximately 70% of all dementia cases, Alzheimer’s disease affects about 5 million people in the United States. The rate of the condition’s extent among the population is increasing exponentially, with the number of people enduring Alzheimer’s estimated to triple by 2060 in the United States.1

Due to the widespread impact of Alzheimer’s, developing treatments that govern the symptoms of the condition is an immense priority for researchers all over the globe. In the spirit of the venture to aid patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, also known as AD, researchers have in recent years been testing several monotherapies, as well as the combination of these drugs to examine the most viable treatment plan for Alzheimer’s for several stages, ranging from mild to moderate to severe AD. Monotherapies are selective agents with a single therapeutic action that may or may not have other less-significant side effects. Combination therapies encompass multimodal agents including drug cocktails and multifunctional molecules that combine multiple mechanisms of therapeutic action which may have a wider range of side effects.  This paper will explore the effects of combining monotherapies and the efficacy of several drugs on Alzheimer’s patients by examining the FDA approved drugs- donepezil, memantine, the combination of donepezil and memantine, rivastigmine, rasagiline, and ladostigil.

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