Cognex is a drug licensed for the treatment of mild to moderate dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease. While the medication cannot cure Alzheimer's, it can help delay the worsening of symptoms by improving memory, attention, reason, and language. Cognex comes in capsule form and is generally taken four times a day. Potential side effects include diarrhea, dizziness, and increased liver enzymes.
What Is Cognex?
Cognex® (tacrine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication approved to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Although the medication is not a cure for Alzheimer's disease, it can help slow down the worsening of Alzheimer's symptoms (and may even temporarily improve such symptoms).
Cognex is classified as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It works by preventing a specific enzyme (known as acetylcholinesterase) from breaking down acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a chemical that aids in many brain functions, including memory, attention, reason, and language. Problems with inadequate acetylcholine in the brain may be responsible for some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Effects of Cognex
Cognex has been evaluated for Alzheimer's disease in several different studies. These studies showed that people taking the drug often had a slower rate of decline in cognitive function ("thinking" functions, such as memory, language, and social interaction), compared to people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). In general, a slight improvement was initially seen, followed by a return to a decline in cognitive function, although this decline was slower in those taking Cognex, compared to those taking a placebo.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 19, 2008.
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