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What Is Rivastigmine Used For?

Why Is Rivastigmine Used for Parkinson's Dementia?

While most people think of dementia as related to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease can also cause such problems. Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that results from the degeneration of neurons in a region of the brain that controls movement. This degeneration creates a shortage of the brain-signaling chemical (neurotransmitter) known as dopamine, causing the movement impairments that are characteristic of the disease. The exact cause of Parkinson's disease is not currently known.
Often, one of the first Parkinson's disease symptoms is tremor (trembling or shaking) of a limb, especially when the body is at rest. While most people associate the disease with such physical symptoms, dementia symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease may also occur. Rivastigmine is approved to treat dementia caused by Parkinson's disease. It will not help with other Parkinson's symptoms.

How Does Rivastigmine Work?

Rivastigmine is part of a group of medications known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. These medications work 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. It is thought that problems with inadequate acetylcholine in the brain may contribute to some of the symptoms of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.
Rivastigmine is the only acetylcholinesterase inhibitor approved to treat dementia due to Parkinson's disease. The other medications in this class are approved to treat Alzheimer's dementia only.

Is Rivastigmine Used in Children?

Rivastigmine is not approved for use in children. This makes sense, since Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are conditions affecting the elderly.
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