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Counseling Points for Pharmacists on Brain Health Treatments



Indication can play a significant function in pharmacists recommending mind well being merchandise.

Scientific trials of a brand new experimental drug for Alzheimer illness have raised security issues making it extra vital for well being care suppliers to set correct expectations for experimental medicine and OTC dietary supplements for mind well being.


An experimental medicine referred to as lecanemab is the newest improvement within the Alzheimer drug discovery course of. Lecanemab created lots of buzz and pleasure within the Alzheimer illness neighborhood, because the drug met its main and all of its secondary endpoints in medical trials.1

The first endpoint was the change from baseline at 18 months within the rating on the Scientific Dementia Ranking-Sum of Containers ranking scale.1 The secondary endpoints had been the rating on the 14 merchandise cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer’s Illness Evaluation Scale (ADAS-cog14), the Alzheimer’s Illness Composite Rating (ADCOMS), the rating on the Alzheimer’s Illness Cooperative Examine-Actions of Every day Residing Scale for Gentle Cognitive Impairment (ADCS-MCI-ADL), and, most importantly, a change in amyloid burden on PET.1

The secondary endpoint of a change in amyloid burden on PET was a major discovering of the examine. Amyloid beta is a trademark discovering within the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s illness and should provoke or potentiate the illness.1

On the similar time, the discount in mind amyloid burden produced important toxicities.1 One key toxicity of lecanemab was the Amyloid Associated Imaging Abnormalities (ARIA).1

These are mind imaging abnormalities that seem on MRI and are linked to the usage of monoclonal antibodies concentrating on amyloid beta.2 These imaging abnormalities can manifest as edema within the mind (ARIA-E) or hemorrhages within the mind (ARIA-H).2 Each ARIA-E and ARIA-H had been current with lecanemab therapy.1 These hostile occasions are suspected to have triggered 3 post-trial deaths to this point.3


Neuriva is a typical OTC complement pharmacists suggest to help mind well being. Neuriva Unique consists of 100 mg of espresso fruit extract (Coffea arabica) and 100 mg of phosphatidylserine.4

Neuriva Plus consists of 200 mg of espresso fruit extract (Coffea arabica), 100 mg of phosphatidylserine, 1.7 mg of vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride), 680 mcg of dietary folate equivalents (400 mcg of folic acid), and a couple of.4 mcg of vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin).5 Neuriva could enhance the degrees of brain-derived neurotrophic issue (BDNF), improve neuronal membrane operate, and restore diminished acetylcholine neurotransmitter exercise.7

There’s some proof to help the two primary elements of Neuriva: espresso fruit extract and phosphatidylserine. In a trial of adults with gentle cognitive decline, giving espresso fruit extract resulted in improved response time within the post-hoc evaluation of the examine.6

In a separate trial of adults with gentle cognitive decline, phosphatidylserine could have produced an enchancment in verbal recall delays within the post-hoc evaluation of the examine.8 As each of those findings occurred within the post-hoc evaluation of every examine, they had been simply observations of the research outdoors of the pre-specified main outcomes.

In every examine there have been no statistically detectable variations within the pre-specified main outcomes that the authors had deliberate to search out on the outset of the research, subsequently, the proof is proscribed.


Prevagen is one other generally really useful product by pharmacists to help mind well being. Prevagen consists of vitamin D (as D3 cholecalciferol 50 mcg) and apoaequorin 10 mg (common power)9, 20 mg10, or 40 mg.11 Prevagen works primarily via the energetic ingredient apoaequorin.

Apoaequorin is a calcium binding protein present in luminescent jellyfish (Aequorea victoria).12 Calcium binding proteins have a task within the regulation of intracellular calcium homeostasis, which is part of neuronal cell operate.

A decline in intracellular calcium binding proteins and their dysregulated distribution within the central nervous system could contribute to cognitive decline, neuronal cell harm, and demise related to growing older.13 The Madison Reminiscence examine was a randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled trial that investigated the consequences of Prevagen on cognitive efficiency in adults with self-reported cognitive issues.14

The outcomes confirmed that these with no cognitive impairment and people with very gentle cognitive impairment confirmed statistically important enchancment in cognitive operate in contrast with the placebo therapy group.14 Nevertheless, the usage of Prevagen in sufferers with wherever from gentle to extreme ranges of cognitive impairment stays inconclusive.14

One of many exclusion standards of the trial was the historical past of serious neurological illness, dementia, or associated reminiscence impairment issues, subsequently the good thing about Prevagen on this affected person inhabitants stays unsure.14 Moreover, those that reported some cognitive impairment within the examine had been examined, however weren’t discovered to point out statistically important enchancment in cognitive operate in contrast with the placebo therapy group.

In these with gentle to average self-reported cognitive dysfunction, the good thing about Prevagen stays unsure.14 There’s additionally robust proof to counsel that Prevagen doesn’t survive digestion within the intestine and there’s proof to counsel that Prevagen doesn’t cross the blood mind barrier.15,16

Which product ought to a pharmacist suggest?

A lot of the distinction within the advice between Neuriva and Prevagen will come to affected person choice, which can be based mostly on the formulation. Neuriva is available in capsules, gummies, and power pictures. Prevagen is available in capsules, chewables, and a protein shake formulation.

It needs to be famous that the indication performs a significant function during which product might be really useful for which group of people. Prevagen can solely be utilized in adults with no historical past of cognitive impairment. Neuriva can be utilized in people with or with out cognitive impairment.

Pharmacists must also remember to suggest the suitable non pharmacological suggestions to help people with cognitive impairment, which embrace establishing a predictable routine and sustaining a constant setting. It consists of holding requests and calls for easy and avoiding advanced duties. Generally, it helps to switch the affected person’s setting so it is easy to know. Massive clocks, calendars, and indicators on doorways might help.

Lastly, the Alzheimer illness affected person’s denial shouldn’t be confronted.18 The pharmacist ought to do not forget that affected person, household, and caregiver illness training is an important with Alzheimer illness, and that the pharmacist performs a key function on this training. Even in people with out cognitive impairment, the pharmacist can suggest interventions to help people’ cognitive well being, specifically common bodily and social exercise.19,20


1. van Dyck CH, Swanson CJ, Aisen P, et al. Lecanemab in Early Alzheimer’s Illness. New England Journal of Medication. November 2022:1-13. doi:10.1056/nejmoa2212948

2. Salloway S, Chalkias S, Barkhof F, et al. Amyloid-Associated Imaging Abnormalities in 2 Section 3 Research Evaluating Aducanumab in Sufferers With Early Alzheimer Illness. JAMA Neurology. 2021;79(1):13-21. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.4161

3. Piller C. Scientists tie third medical trial demise to experimental Alzheimer’s drug. Science. material/article/scientists-tie-third-clinical-trial-death-experimental-alzheimer-s-drug. Revealed December 21, 2022. Accessed December 29, 2022.

4. Neuriva Unique, Brain Health Complement With Espresso Cherry Extract & Phosphatidylserine. Schiff Nutritional vitamins. Accessed December 28, 2022.

5. Neuriva Plus, Brain Health Complement With Espresso Cherry Extract & Phosphatidylserine. Schiff Nutritional vitamins. Accessed December 28, 2022.

6. Robinson JL, Hunter JM, Reyes-Izquierdo T, et al. Cognitive short- and long-term results of espresso cherry extract in older adults with gentle cognitive decline. Getting old, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. 2020;27(6):918-934. doi:10.1080/13825585.2019.1702622

7. Jorissen BL, Brouns F, Van Boxtel MP, Riedel WJ. Security of soy-derived phosphatidylserine in aged individuals. Nutr Neurosci. 2002;5(5):337-343. doi:10.1080/1028415021000033802

8. Kato-Kataoka A, Sakai M, Ebina R, Nonaka C, Asano T, Miyamori T. Soybean-derived phosphatidylserine improves reminiscence operate of the aged Japanese topics with reminiscence complaints. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2010;47(3):246-255. doi:10.3164/jcbn.10-62

9. Prevagen Common Power Capsules 10mg, 30count. Prevagen. Accessed December 28, 2022.

10. Prevagen Additional Power Capsules 20mg, 30count. Prevagen. Accessed December 28, 2022.

11. Prevagen Skilled Components Capsules 40mg, 30count. Prevagen. Accessed December 28, 2022.

12. Apoaequorin. Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Basis. Revealed June 13, 2016. Accessed December 28, 2022.

13. Brini M, Calì T, Ottolini D, Carafoli E. Neuronal calcium signaling: operate and dysfunction. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2014;71(15):2787-2814. doi:10.1007/s00018-013-1550-7

14. Moran DL, Underwood MY, Gabourie TA, Lerner KC. Results of a Complement Containing Apoaequorin on Verbal Studying in Older Adults within the Group. Adv Thoughts Physique Med. 2016;30(1):4-11.

15. Moran DL, Tetteh AO, Goodman RE, Underwood MY. Security evaluation of the calcium-binding protein, apoaequorin, expressed by Escherichia coli. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2014;69(2):243-249. doi:10.1016/j.yrtph.2014.04.004

16. Siegel GJ, Agranoff BW, Albers RW, Fisher SK, Uhler MD, eds. Fundamental Neurochemistry: Molecular, Mobile, and Medical Features. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott-Raven; 1999.

17. Galvin JE, Roe CM, Powlishta KK, et al. The AD8: a quick informant interview to detect dementia. Neurology. 2005;65(4):559-564. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000172958.95282.2a

18. Spencer B, White L. Dealing with Habits Change in Dementia: A Household Caregiver’s Information. Ann Arbor, MI: Whisppub LLC; 2015.

19. Buchman AS, Yu L, Wilson RS, et al. Bodily exercise, widespread mind pathologies, and cognition in community-dwelling older adults. Neurology. 2019;92(8):e811-e822. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000006954

20. Cacioppo S, Grippo AJ, London S, Goossens L, Cacioppo JT. Loneliness: medical import and interventions. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2015;10(2):238-249. doi:10.1177/1745691615570616

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