Galantamine in AD: A 6-month randomized, placebo-controlled trial with a 6-month extension. The Galantamine USA-1 Study Group.Neurology. 2000 Jun 27; 54(12):2261-8.Neur
Galantamine is a reversible, competitive cholinesterase inhibitor that also allosterically modulates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These mechanisms of action provided the rationale for a therapeutic trial of galantamine in AD.
A 6-month, multicenter, double-blind trial was undertaken in 636 patients with mild to moderate AD. Patients were randomly assigned to placebo or galantamine and escalated to maintenance doses of 24 or 32 mg/d. Eligible patients then entered a 6-month, open-label study of the 24 mg/d dose. Primary efficacy measures were the 11-item AD Assessment Scale cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog/11) and the Clinician's Interview-Based Impression of Change plus Caregiver Input (CIBIC-plus). The Disability Assessment for Dementia (DAD) scale was a secondary efficacy variable.
Galantamine significantly improved cognitive function relative to placebo; the treatment effects were 3.9 points (lower dose) and 3.8 points (higher dose) on the ADAS-cog/11 scale at month 6 (p < 0.001 in both cases). Both doses of galantamine produced a better outcome on CIBIC-plus than placebo (p < 0.05). Therapeutic response to galantamine was not affected by APOE genotype. At 12 months, mean ADAS-cog/11 and DAD scores had not significantly changed from baseline for patients who received galantamine 24 mg/d throughout the 12 months. The most common adverse events, which were predominantly gastrointestinal, decreased in frequency during long-term treatment. There was no evidence of hepatotoxicity.
Galantamine is effective and safe in AD. At 6 months, galantamine significantly improved cognition and global function. Moreover, cognitive and daily function were maintained for 12 months with the 24 mg/d dose.