Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Mild Alzheimer's Disease May Respond Well to Galantamine

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Mild Alzheimer's Disease May Respond Well to Galantamine

Article excerpt

BALTIMORE -- Patients with very mild Alzheimer's disease may benefit from galantamine treatment, Dr. Gary W. Small reported in a poster session at the annual meeting of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

The researchers conducted a post hoc analysis of four prospective randomized trials of 362 patients given galantamine (Reminyl) and 332 patients given a placebo. Patients received either placebo or 24 mg/day of galantamine for 3-6 months, and they had to score 21 on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).

Participants also had to meet the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke: Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association criteria for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Cognitive and attention measurements were taken at baseline, 3-4 weeks, 3 months, and 5-6 months using the 11- or 13-item Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS). Drug safety and tolerability were assessed from reports of adverse events, the researchers said.

The baseline demographics and disease characteristics were similar for the galantamine and placebo groups, with a median age of 74 years, a time since AD diagnosis of 3.6 years, and average MMSE scores of 22.4. There were 135 men (37.3%) in the galantamine group and 151 (45.5%) in the placebo group.

A total of 452 participants completed 6 months of treatment: 223 receiving galantamine and 229 receiving placebo. In the galantamine group, mean ADAS-cog/11 and ADAS-cog/13 scores improved significantly, but these scores remained flat in the placebo group (see chart). Improvements in cognitive function were seen in 3-4 weeks in the treatment group across all trials, said Dr. …

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