Thursday, September 13, 2012

Donepezil and Memantine for Moderate to Severe Alzheimer's Disease

For the first time, we have robust and compelling evidence that treatment with these drugs can continue to help patients at the later, more severe stages of the disease. We observed that patients who continued taking donepezil were better able to remember, understand, communicate and perform daily tasks for at least a year longer than those who stopped taking the drugs. 
-- Professor Robert Howard

Alzheimer's Reading Room

Robert Howard
Over the course of the trial, which recruited individuals over a two year period with a one year follow up, patients who continued to take donepezil showed considerably less decline in cognition (memory, orientation, language function, etc) and function (retained ability to carry out simple daily tasks and self-care) than those taking a placebo drug.

The benefits seen with continued treatment were clinically important and were greater than those previously seen in patients with less severe AD.

Patients who started taking memantine (Namenda) also showed better cognitive and functional abilities, although the effect was slightly smaller, compared with those taking a placebo.

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