ARTICLESThe Cholinesterase InhibitorsRUBEY, ROBERT N. MD Author Information RUBEY: Medical University of South Carolina and Ralph H Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston. Please send correspondence and reprint requests to: Robert N. Rubey, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Ralph H Johnson VA Medical Center, 109 Bee Street, Charleston, SC 29401. Journal of Psychiatric Practice: November 2003 - Volume 9 - Issue 6 - p 422-430 Buy Abstract Dementia is a serious and growing problem that presents enormous burdens to patients, their families, and national healthcare systems throughout the world. In the United States, there are currently two classes of psychopharmacologic agents approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: the cholinesterase inhibitors, which are approved for use in patients with mild to moderate disease, and memantine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, which is approved for treatment of moderate to severe illness. Three cholinesterase inhibitors are in general clinical use, each of which has a distinct pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and side-effect profile. In addition, there is growing research and clinical evidence of the effectiveness of the cholinesterase inhibitors in patients who are in the more advanced stages of Alzheimer’s dementia as well as in patients with other forms of dementia. Copyright © 2003 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.