Cerebrolysin: a review of its use in dementia


Adis, a Wolters Kluwer Business, Auckland, New Zealand. demail@adis.co.nz


Cerebrolysin is a parenterally administered, porcine brain-derived peptide preparation that has pharmacodynamic properties similar to those of endogenous neurotrophic factors. In several randomized, double-blind trials of up to 28 weeks’ duration in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Cerebrolysin was superior to placebo in improving global outcome measures and cognitive ability. A large, randomized comparison of Cerebrolysin, donepezil or combination therapy showed beneficial effects on global measures and cognition for all three treatment groups compared with baseline. Although not as extensively studied in patients with vascular dementia, Cerebrolysin has also shown beneficial effects on global measures and cognition in this patient population. Cerebrolysin was generally well tolerated in clinical trials, with dizziness (or vertigo) being the most frequently reported adverse event. Although further studies with Cerebrolysin, including longer term trials and further exploration of its use in combination with cholinesterase inhibitors, are needed to more clearly determine its place in the management of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, available data suggest that Cerebrolysin is a useful addition to the treatment options available for dementia.

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]