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Two new studies showed Alzheimer’s disease treatment beneficial in other memory-related conditions
New data provide the first evidence that Aricept (donepezil HCl tablets) may have potential in treating two dementia-related illnesses beyond Alzheimer's disease (AD). Findings from two separate studies showed that treatment improved cognition in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and behavioral symptoms in patients with Parkinson's-related dementia. The data were presented for the first time at the American Academy of Neurology 55th Annual Meeting (AAN). Aricept is approved for the treatment of symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
"As the first placebo-controlled trial with an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor to improve cognitive symptoms in MCI, this study provides encouraging news for the millions of Americans with MCI," said Stephen Salloway, M.D., director of Neurology and The Memory Disorders Program, associate professor of Clinical Neurosciences at Brown Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island. "The findings underscore the importance of early intervention to promote healthy aging and preserve independence in the elderly."
Experts estimate that dementia affects between four and five million Americans. MCI primarily affects memory, although other areas can be affected, such as language and attention, and is not associated with normal aging. MCI is often a warning sign of the start of AD and other dementias. In fact, over the course of a year, about 10-15 percent of those with MCI will develop AD.
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Aricept in MCI
The primary outcome measures for this study were the Clinician's Global Impression of Change-MCI (CGIC-MCI) and New York University (NYU) Paragraph test. Secondary endpoint measures were modified Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog), Digit Span Backwards test, Symbol Digit Modalities test and Patient Global Assessment (PGA).
Aricept in Parkinson's-Related Dementia
Information About Aricept (donepezil HCI tablets) Treatment in Alzheimer's Disease
MCI Study Details
Both treatment groups had improved Clinician's Global Impression of Change-MCI (CGIC-MCI) scores at endpoint, with no significant difference between Aricept and placebo. Significant differences favoring Aricept were measured by the modified ADAS-cog total score (p<.05). In addition, the FE population benefited significantly from Aricept treatment, according to the following test scores:
Adverse events were reported by 88 percent of the Aricept group and 73 percent of the placebo group, most of which were mild or moderate in severity. Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abnormal dreams, insomnia and leg cramps occurred in greater than five percent and twice the rate of placebo.
Parkinson's-Related Dementia Study Details
Although the results of the two studies provide preliminary support, additional research is ongoing.