DR MARK J. WINTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR MARK J. WINTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tacrine. Molecular model of the Alzheimer's drug tacrine, marketed under the name Cognex. Atoms are represented as spheres and are colour-coded: carbon (blue), hydrogen (yellow) and nitrogen (dark blue). Tacrine belongs to a class of drugs known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which destroys the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Lack of neurotransmitters is thought to play a role in Alzheimer's disease, a common cause of dementia in the elderly. Tacrine does not cure the disease, or slow its progression, but it can improve cognitive function.
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