Functional, cognitive and behavioral effects of donepezil in patients with moderate Alzheimer's disease.Curr Med Res Opin 2002; 18(6):347-54CM
To investigate the efficacy and safety of donepezil in a subgroup of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) of moderate severity from a previous trial.
Two hundred and seven patients with moderate AD (standardized Mini-Mental State Examination [sMMSE] score 10-17) were randomized to treatment in this 24-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Patents received either donepezil, 5 mg/day for the first 28 days and 10 mg/day thereafter according to the clinician's judgement (n = 102), or placebo (n = 105). The primary outcome measure was the Clinician's Interview-Based Impression of Change with caregiver input (CIBIC-plus) at week 24 using a last observation carried forward (LOCF) analysis.
Baseline patient demographics were similar between treatment groups. Mean age was 74.3 years (range 48-92). Least-squares (LS) mean sMMSE scores at baseline were 13.6 +/- 0.3 for the donepezil group and 13.9 +/- 0.3 for the placebo group. LS mean CIBIC-plus scores for donepezil-treated patients were improved from, or close to, baseline severity at all visits, and were significantly different from placebo at weeks 8, 12, 18, and 24 (week 24 LOCF mean difference = 0.53, p = 0.0003). LS mean change from baseline scores on the sMMSE and Severe Impairment Battery (SIB) for the donepezil group improved throughout the study, and were significantly different from placebo at each visit for the sMMSE (week 24 LOCF mean difference = 2.06, p = 0.0002) and from week 8 for the SIB (week 24 LOCF mean difference = -4.44, p = 0.0026). LS mean change scores on the Disability Assessment for Dementia remained at or above baseline levels throughout the study for the donepezil group, while the placebo group showed a steady decline; treatment differences were significant at each visit (week 24 LOCF mean difference = -9.25, p < 0.0001). LS mean change scores on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory 12-item total improved throughout the study for the donepezil group and were significantly different from placebo at weeks 4 and 24 (week 24 LOCF mean difference = 5.92, p = 0.0022). Eighty-one per cent of donepezil-treated and 89% of placebo-treated patients completed the trial, with 9% and 5%, respectively, discontinuing due to adverse events (AEs). Eighty-two per cent of donepezil-treated and 80% of placebo-treated patients experienced AEs, the majority of which were rated mild in severity and, in general, were similar between treatment groups.
The significant treatment responses observed with donepezil in these patients reinforce the findings from earlier studies that show donepezil to have important benefits, compared wih placebo, across functional, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms, with good tolerability, in patients with AD of moderate severity.