A study in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicates that there is good reason for the recent attention surrounding the drug memantine for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. A multi-center study directed by University of Rochester Medical Center faculty concluded that memantine, when taken with the commonly prescribed Alzheimer's drug donepezil, helped moderate to severe Alzheimer's patients maintain or in some cases, improve their memory and other intellectual functions, and helped to preserve activities of daily living during the study period. This represents the first medication approved by the FDA to treat advanced Alzheimer's patients, as well as a new category of medication to treat the disease.
Lead investigator Pierre N. Tariot, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said that the study was significant not only because it validates a new class of drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's, but also because it was the first time positive results have been seen combining two Alzheimer's drugs.
"To find a new medication that can provide substantial benefit to patients at this stage of the disease, either alone or in combination with another Alzheimer's drug, is certainly good news," Tariot said.
Thirty-seven institutions participated in the study between June 11, 2001 and June 3, 2002. The study compared the efficacy and safety of memantine versus placebo (sugar pill) in patients with moderate to severe AD already taking the cholinesterase inhibitor, donepezil. A total of 404 patients were enrolled, and 322 patients (80 percent) completed the clinical trial.
According to Tariot, patients who took the memantine and donepezil versus those on placebo showed statistically significant improvement in cognition, memory, and overall daily functioning.
"Family members tended to say things like, 'Gee, he's more like himself; he participatePage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Germaine Reinhardt
University of Rochester Medical Center
. First head-to-head study to compare lidoderm patch and Celebrex in treating pain2
. UMaine study looks at infants and chronic nighttime crying3
. Chronic pain treatments more effective when taken together, new study shows4
. UNC study: Most N.C. family practitioners engage in unrecognized community service5
. New study in Nature demonstrates protection against cell death during heart attack6
. UCSF study offers insight into human circadian rhythms7
. International breast cancer prevention study launches in the United States and Canada8
. UW study shows blacks and Latinos are more satisfied with physicians of the same race9
. Physicians may not be accurate in their confidence levels of their diagnoses, says Pitt study10
. Advertising by academic medical centers may risk eroding public trust, says study11
. Fat may promote inflammation, new study suggests