Memantine Also Effective in Mild to Moderate Alzheimer's Disease

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO -- Memantine is a beneficial therapy across the full spectrum of Alzheimer's disease severity, Dr. Steven G. Potkin said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor agonist late last year became the first medication approved for treatment of patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. But a new phase III randomized clinical trial presented at the meeting showed that memantine (Namenda) also is safe and effective in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's, indicating that the drug is of clinical value in all stages of the disease, said Dr. Potkin, professor of psychiatry and human behavior and director of the brain-imaging center at the University of California, Irvine.

He reported on 403 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease randomized in double-blind fashion to 24 weeks of memantine at 10 mg b.i.d. or placebo; 82% of patients in both arms completed the trial.

The two primary outcome measures were the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog) and the Clinician's Interview-Based Impression of Change with Caregiver Input (CIBIC-plus), a measure of global status. The memantine group performed significantly better on both.

The ADAS-cog score improved slightly over time, compared with baseline in the memantine group; those in the placebo arm showed progressive cognitive decline. The CIBIC-plus showed that both groups experienced a global decline that was significantly more pronounced in the placebo group. …


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