Included in the analysis were 435 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease who had been randomly assigned to receive either 24 mg of Reminyl daily (220) or placebo (215) for six months as part of a larger study conducted in Europe and Canada. The primary efficacy measures used in the study were tools to assess patients' ability to learn, think and reason (the cognitive portion of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale) and the treating physician's overall impression of patients' function, along with input from caregivers (Clinicians Interview-Based Impression of Change plus Caregiver Information). However, as one of the secondary measures, the primary caregivers in the patients' families were asked to complete a questionnaire on the time they spent on supervision and assistance. The analysis found that the time required to supervise patients who received placebo increased by approximately two hours per day over the six months. In contrast, the time spent supervising individuals who took Reminyl did not increase significantly. In addition, the time that caregivers spent assisting patients on placebo with daily-living activities increased steadily throughout the trial, totalling an average of 23 extra minutes per day by the end of six months. On the other hand, caregivers of patients taking Reminyl reported a decrease in the amount of time spent assisting their charges by an average of 38 minutes per day.
"A reduction in time required for assistance isn't just a convenience and relief for the caregiver, it's also a reflection of increased independence for the person with Alzheimer's, which makes it a 'win-win' situation," comments Prof. Wilcock. The longer we can preserve independent functioning for the patient, the more dignity and quality social interaction is possible."
Reducing Caregiver Stress