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NEW MEMORY-ENHANCING DRUG FOR ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE NOW IN HUMAN TESTING

NEW MEMORY-ENHANCING DRUG FOR ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE NOW IN HUMAN TESTING
 PADUA, Italy, July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Linopirdine, a new memory- enhancing drug for Alzheimer's disease, now in phase III human clinical trials around the world, is designed to work in a novel three-pronged strategy to improve the symptom of memory loss.
 The preclinical assessment was presented at the Third International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders by Errol B. De Souza, director of central nervous system diseases research, at Du Pont Merck Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, Del.
 "We are working from the strategy of trying to enhance normal transmission of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a chemical messenger that is depleted in the brain in Alzheimer's disease, and is involved with memory processing," said De Souza. "We came up with a mechanism that stimulates the neuron when it fires in the presence of the drug. This mode of action may have some advantages. First, it not only affects acetylcholine, it also enhances the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Second, it mimics the normal transmission of acetylcholine. Third, the target sites for drug action are localized in the cerebral cortex (the thinking center of the brain) and involved in Alzheimer's disease."
 Other pharmacologic approaches to enhancing acetylcholine have proved less effective or have various disadvantages.
 The Third International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders was attended by more than 700 prominent scientists and other experts representing 26 countries and every continent. The meeting is held every two years. The 1990 conference took place in Toronto.
 This release has been provided by the Third International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders through a grant from Du Pont Merck Pharmaceuticals.
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CO: Du Pont Merck Pharmaceuticals ST: Delaware IN: MTC SU:

KD-SH -- NY109A -- 0316 07/17/92 14:33 EDT
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Date:Jul 17, 1992
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