Early Research on Galantamine

Q First may I congratulate you on a variety of far-reaching and interesting articles regarding Alzheimer’s and its treatments. I was particularly fascinated by your writings about the herbal compound galantamine, its early Bulgarian origins, and the fact that it’s also being retailed as a drug.

A particular note caught my eye in an article entitled “Revive Memory and Help Fight Alzheimer’s Disease,” in the October 2000 issue. You state that clinical trials began as early as 1985, but real results appeared only 15 years later or so. Maybe I misunderstood your references, but I failed to see any citation of the earlier work. I’m looking forward to hearing your comments on this.

Richard, Los Angeles

A There is a U.S. Patent, “Method of Treating Alzheimer’s Disease” (#4,663,318), which was filed on January 15, 1986, and granted on May 5, 1987. The “background art” in this patent weaves through Russian, German, and Bulgarian scientific literature, extending back even further than the mid-1980s and establishing a lineage of connections.

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