Objectives To assess clinical efficacy and safety of memantine—an uncompetitive N‐methyl‐d‐aspartate (NMDA) antagonist—in moderately severe to severe primary dementia. Materials and methods Dementia was defined by DSM‐III‐R criteria and severity was assessed by the Global Deterioration Scale (stages 5–7) and the Mini‐Mental State Examination (<10 points). Primary endpoints were the Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGI‐C) rated by the physician, and the Behavioural Rating Scale for Geriatric Patients (BGP), subscore ‘care dependence’, rated by the nursing staff. Secondary endpoints included the modified D‐Scale (Arnold/Ferm). Results The ITT sample comprised 166 patients and 151 patients were treated per protocol. At 12‐week ITT endpoint analysis, 82 received memantine 10 mg per day, 84 placebo. Dementia was in 49% of the Alzheimer type and in 51% of the vascular type (CT, Hachinski score). A positive response in the CGI‐C was seen in 73% versus 45% in favour of memantine (stratified Wilcoxon p<0.001), independent of the etiology of dementia. The results in the BGP subscore ‘care dependence’ were 3.1 points improvement under memantine and 1.1 points under placebo (p=0.016). A coincident response of the two independent target variables was observed in 61.3% (memantine) versus 31.6% (placebo). Secondary endpoint analysis of the D‐Scale assessing basic ADL functions support the primary results. Regarding the safety profile, no significant differences between treatment groups were observed. Conclusions The results of this trial support the hypothesis that memantine treatment leads to functional improvement and reduces care dependence in severely demented patients. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 1999
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