Currently, four drugs are available that can improve memory and delay disease progression in Alzheimer's disease. The first three drugs belong to the class called cholinesterase inhibitors (ChE-I) and are represented by donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon), and galantamine (Reminyl). In addition to these memantine (Ebixa) has been linked to neuroprotective effects that alter the course of the illness and improve certain areas of functioning.
However, not everyone will experience the improvement. Most studies indicate that about 40 to 50 % of people experience a 1-5 point improvement on the Mini Mental Status Examination test. Most people will experience a delay in the progression of the illness. Functioning in activities of daily living improves and caregivers will notice this change. They have also shown that people on these treatments require fewer additional drugs to manage the psychological and behavioural aspects of the illness.