Updated on 16 July 2013
Some of the symptoms experienced by people with Down's syndrome are common to some sufferers of Alzheimer’s, for which Aricept has long been prescribed
Singapore: Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai has said that it will soon begin therapeutic testing of a drug that it hopes will slow the decline in quality of life for some people with Down's syndrome.
The firm will trial its ‘Aricept' donepezil hydrochloride drug, commonly used to treat some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, on people between the ages of 15 and 39 who have Down's syndrome.
Down's syndrome is caused by a chromosome defect and is proportionately more common in people born of older mothers. From the mid-teens onwards, roughly six percent of people with Down's syndrome lose physical co-ordination, experience sleep disorders and become more withdrawn.
An Eisai spokesperson said, "This testing, if effective, might show that the medication could improve their condition and help improve the quality of their lives. It could also ease the burden on their caregivers," the spokesman said.
Some of the symptoms experienced by people with Down's syndrome are common to some sufferers of Alzheimer's, for which Aricept has long been prescribed.