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Cholinesterase Inhibitors and Autism

Cholinesterase inhibitors are a class of drugs which are used to improve the effectiveness of acetylcholine (a chemical neurotransmitter found in the brain). They appear to work either by increasing the levels of acetylcholine or by strengthening the way nerve cells respond to it.

Increased concentrations of acetylcholine lead to increase communication between nerve cells and may temporarily help to slow down or stabilise the symptoms of conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.

Some people believe that cholinesterase inhibitors can also be used to treat some of the problems faced by individuals with autism.

There are a number of different types of cholinesterase inhibitors including

  • Donepezil, sold under various brand names including Aricept
  • Galantamine, sold under various brand names including Razadyne and Reminyl
  • Rivastigmine, sold under various brand names including Exelon

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Updated
25 Oct 2017