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Cholinesterase Inhibitors

The Cholinesterase Inhibitors are medications that block the actions of acetylcholinesterase, which is an enzyme in the body that breaks down acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a very common neurotransmitter with many important functions in the body's nervous system. By blocking the actions of acetylcholinesterase, these medications cause the levels of acetylcholine in the brain and nervous system to increase, which thus boosts the effects of this neurotransmitter.

Boosting the effects of acetylcholine can be helpful for people with dementia, because the symptoms of dementia have been linked to low levels of this neurotransmitter. Cholinesterase Inhibitors can help to delay the progression of dementia by several months, though they do not cure this condition.

The common Cholinesterase Inhibitors currently in use include Donepezil, Galantamine, and Rivastigmine.