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Memantine Reduces Craving for Alcohol in Alcohol-induced Dementia: A Case Report

Thomas, Naveen MD, DPM; Braganza, Deepa MD, DPM; Tharyan, Prathap MD, MRCPsych

Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment: March 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 1 - p 52-54
doi: 10.1097/ADT.0b013e31815827be
Case Report

People with alcohol dependence sometimes develop cognitive brain changes or dementia that limit the usefulness of benzodiazepines in detoxification. Memantine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor channel blocker, is postulated to reverse the up-regulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor functions associated with prolonged heavy use of alcohol and has been shown to reduce alcohol craving. We report the case of a 65-year-old man with alcohol dependence, cognitive impairment, and persistent craving for alcohol after detoxification in whom craving and cognitive impairment were significantly improved on treatment with memantine.

Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Reprints: Naveen Thomas, MD, DPM, Christian Medical College, Vellore 632002, Tamil Nadu, India (e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.