FDA approves first-ever drug for Parkinson's-related dementia

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug to treat Parkinson's disease dementia.

Exelon (rivastigmine tartrate), which is manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., is the first drug to be approved for the treatment of mild to moderate Parkinson's disease dementia. Exelon can also be used in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

As many as 40% of Parkinson's disease patients develop dementia, and the overall risk of developing dementia is nearly four to six times greater among elderly Parkinson's patients than among elderly people without the disease.