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EXCLI J. 2017; 16: 35–39.
Published online 2017 January 10. doi:  10.17179/excli2016-820
PMCID: PMC5318685

Pharmacological aspects of galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Dear Editor,

Galantamine is a natural product belonging to the isoquinoline alkaloid family of compounds. It was first discovered and isolated in the 1950s from Galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop) and Galanthus woronowii (Caucasian snowdrop), members of the Amaryllidaceae family (Marco and do Carmo Carreiras, 2006[20]).

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who first identified the disease in 1906. AD slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and is the most frequently diagnosed age-related neurodegenerative disorder (Prvulovic et al., 2010[25]). Galantamine is an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor and one of the most promising drugs available for the treatment of AD and various other memory impairments (Scott and Goa, 2000[28]; Ago et al., 2011[1]). Synthetic galantamine was first approved for the treatment of AD in Sweden in 2000 and was subsequently approved in the European Union and the United States (Heinrich and Lee Teoh, 2004[13]). In the present report, we reviewed the most recent studies on the pharmacological activity of galantamine (Table 1(Tab. 1)) (References in Table 1: Hager et al., 2016[10]; Hishikawa et al., 2016[14]; Hwang et al., 2016[15]; Wahba et al., 2016[30]; Hanafy et al., 2016[12]; Inden et al., 2016[16]; Bezerra et al., 2016[4]; Misra et al., 2016[21];Oka et al., 2016[23]; Tokuchi et al., 2016[29]; Wu et al., 2015[32]; Nakano et al., 2015[22]; Atanasova et al., 2015[3]; Fornaguera et al., 2015[8]; Woo et al., 2015[31]; Bhattacharya et al., 2015[6]; Jiang et al., 2015[17]; Prins et al., 2014[24]; Alexandrova et al., 2014[2]; Furukawa et al., 2014[9]; Caramelli et al., 2014[7]; Koola et al., 2014[19]; Kita et al., 2014[18]; Hager et al., 2014[11]; Bhattacharya et al., 2014[5]; Richarz et al., 2014[27]; Ramakrishnan et al., 2014[26]).

Table 1
Recent studies on the pharmacological activity of galantamine

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2016M3A9A5919548).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Articles from EXCLI Journal are provided here courtesy of Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors