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Alzheimer's Drug can be Used to Treat Nerve Agent and Pesticide Poisoning

He says these findings have a clear relevance for military personnel under the threat of exposure to the deadly nerve agents and, as importantly, for the general population. "The basic finding of our study is that galantamine effectively penetrates the blood-brain barrier and protects the brain from the toxic effects of organophosphorus compounds, as long as it is administered before or soon after an exposure," says Dr. Albuquerque. "This simple and safe antidotal therapy could be added to the arsenal of medications carried by all military members and first responders, who could easily administer it to themselves should they suspect that they've been exposed to a nerve agent. Likewise, this therapy could be used worldwide to save the lives of people who come in contact with toxic levels of organophosphorus insecticides."

"These important findings of Dr. Albuquerque and his colleagues will pave the way for further improvements in the current medical countermeasures against intoxication by organophosphorus nerve agents and insecticides," says David H. Moore, D.V.M., Ph.D., Director of Strategic Research Program Development at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense. "By supporting this effort, it is clear that the Department of Defense is committed to quality biomedical research that seeks to improve the health and welfare of U.S. military personnel."

(Source: Eurekalert)
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