(LOS ANGELES) -- Despite millions of dollars spent on Alzheimer's research, the drugs that are used for "treating" the condition are not very effective, according to a new study published online in the Archives of Neurology.
Yet with all the ads for Alzheimer's drugs, and little coverage of their limitations, it will likely surprise people to hear that one of the frequently prescribed drugs was found to have little, if any, effect.
Researchers from the University of Southern California reanalyzed data from already published studies and found that Memantine was no different than a sugar pill in its effects on learning, functional activities and behavior in patients with mild Alzheimer's.
While Memantine has been approved by the FDA for patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's, health care professionals often prescribe the drug off-label for patients with mild Alzheimer's, according to HealthDay News.
Researchers say that the drug can be effective in helping patients with severe Alzheimer's to think more clearly and perform daily activities with more ease. However, Memantine is not a cure for Alzheimer's, nor can it cease progression of the disease.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio