Studies offer data on potential impact of Reminyl on caregiver 'burden' in Alzheimer's disease

ucted by Pierre Tariot, MD, professor of psychiatry, medicine and neurology at New York's University of Rochester Medical Center. He examined the data from a five-month study in which 286 U.S. patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease were assigned to receive placebo, 279 took a maximum daily Reminyl dose of 16 mg and 273 received a maximum of 24 mg of Reminyl daily. Caregiver distress was assessed using a subscale of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) -- one of the secondary measures of efficacy used in the study. Participating caregivers rated the degree of distress they experienced in response to 10 types of patient symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions and agitation.

Dr. Tariot's analysis found that after five months, distress significantly increased among those caring for patients who took placebo. In contrast, distress scores were not significantly different at the end of the study than at the beginning for those caring for persons who received either one of the two Reminyl doses.

"This relative decrease in distress levels among caregivers with family members taking Reminyl may be due at least in part to the ability of the medication to delay the emergence of behavioral disturbances in many patients, including agitation, anxiety and hallucinations," comments Dr. Tariot. "The ultimate benefit may be that patients can stay at home longer, before full-time institutionalization or other types of chronic, professional care is required."

Safety and Tolerability

In a clinical study of 978 patients that included the recommended dosing regimen, the percentage of patients who dropped out due to side effects after taking Reminyl (7-10 per cent) was comparable to the discontinuation rate for individuals receiving placebo (7 per cent) . Overall, the most common side effects experienced by patients who followed the recommended schedule for Reminyl were primarily gastrointestinal in nature. Side effects that occurred in per cent o

Contact: Andrew Cooper

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