Rivastigmine for subcortical vascular dementia
Rivastigmine is a second-generation cholinesterase inhibitor with selectivity for the CNS, with capacity to inhibit both acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase. Rivastigmine is currently approved for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. In addition to its effects on cognition and activities of daily living, rivastigmine appears to be useful in preventing and controlling behavioral and neuropsychiatric manifestations in Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. This drug profile could be potentially useful in patients with subcortical vascular dementia who often present these symptoms. Small open-label studies of patients with subcortical vascular dementia showed that rivastigmine improved attention, executive function, apathy and other behavioral deficits. Rivastigmine appears to be a promising agent in vascular dementia but its effects remain to be established in double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials.