Dementia is an age-associated syndrome most commonly due to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and/or cerebrovascular disease.
Calcium has an important role in regulating brain functions. Calcium ions link membrane excitation to subsequent intracellular molecular responses. Age-associated changes in calcium homoeostasis have possible repercussions on higher cortical functions. Nimodipine is an isopropyl calcium channel blocker which readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Its primary action is to reduce the number of open calcium channels in cell membranes, thus restricting influx of calcium ions into cells.
The usefulness of nimodipine in patients with Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia and unspecified dementia is still controversial. In spite of the uncertainties about its efficacy in dementia, nimodipine is currently frequently prescribed for cognitive impairment and dementia in several continental European countries.