Pharmacy Early Alzheimer's Disease Alert

Pharmacists are being alerted to a potential wave of patients inquiring about their risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). With the pharmacist as the first port of call for many patients, Nutricia has announced a new direct to consumer program prompting people with concerns about memory loss to consult their health care professional. The company, which markets Souvenaid, said that the  roduct is classified as a nutritional food for special medical purposes for the dietary management of the early stages of AD and is only recommended to be taken under medical supervision.

Potential patients or concerned relatives/carers will be encouraged to consult with their pharmacist, doctor or nurse. The campaign includes TV advertising in Sydney and Melbourne Feb/Mar, TV advertorials Mar–May and regional radio advertising in NSW, VIC and QLD across Mar/Apr. Pharmacists can refer patients to their GP for initial discussions and if suspicious ongoing referal to a specialist in geriatrics or neurology.

Ongoing research is being conducted by the Austin Hospital in Victoria through Professor Michael Woodward, head of aged and residential care services at Austin Health, and geriatrician in private practice. Woodward said that a strong body of published, double-blind, peer-reviewed clinical trials have now demonstrated that Souvenaid can make a statistically significant difference to the protection of synapses affecting cognitive ability. Pharmacists can explain that should the doctor recommend it, Souvenaid is available as a very early intervention, he added.

In Alzheimer's Disease, the nutrients required to support what is called the Kennedy Pathway, a cascade of multiple enzymatic reactions, seem not to be available in sufficient quantities. Woodward said that early diagnosis of AD was critical to success with most therapies but especially so with Souvenaid which has strongest data demonstrating positive impact when begun as early as possible, even preclinically. If therapy is left until later in the course of disease it can be too late.

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Source:, Thursday 27 Feb 2014