Q Dear Dr. V,
I am only in my forties and am still mentally alert and with it, although I admit that sometimes I don't remember things such as where I put my wallet, or names of people I just met, or dates of recent events. I certainly don't have Alzheimer's, but is it OK for me to take galantamine?


A Dear JV,
I once answered a similar question: Is galantamine helpful for all people, not just Alzheimer's patients? (And read the first letter above.)

Evidence continues to mount that all people who are aging (and that includes you and me, of course) experience, to some extent, age-related memory impairment. Alzheimer's patients may suffer accelerated memory impairment long before the clinical diagnosis of the disease is confirmed.

Forty years of studies have demonstrated that galantamine is beneficial for a wide spectrum of age-related cognitive loss syndromes in addition to Alzheimer's. It has also been shown to be helpful in improving cognitive function in the young (those without cognitive decline).1,2 Galantamine is likely to be a helpful addition to almost any cognitive supplement program for slowing or preventing age-related memory impairment.

Dr. V


  1. Riemann D, Gann H, Dressing H, Muller WE, Aldenhoff JB. Influenceof the cholinesterase inhibitor galanthamine hydrobromide on normal sleep. Psychiatry Res 1994 Mar;51(3):253-67.
  2. Woodruff-Pak DS, Vogel RW 3rd, Wenk GL. Galantamine: effect on nicotinicreceptor binding, acetylcholinesterase inhibition, and learning. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001 Feb 13;98(4):2089-94.

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