To assess long-term effectiveness of galantamine in community-dwelling persons with mild Alzheimer's disease.Methods
Prospective open-label trial including patients with mild AD (NINCDS-ADRDA criteria) treated with galantamine for up to 36 months. Outcome parameters included ADAS-cog/11, Bayer-ADL scale (self- and caregivers' ratings), 10-item NPI and CGI-change, safety and tolerability measures. Data are presented based on ITT analyses (LOCF).Results
Seventy-five patients (55% women; mean ADAS-cog 22.3; mean age 70.2 years) were treated with galantamine for approximately 36 months. About 60% (n = 45) received a total daily dose of 24 mg galantamine at final visit. After 3, 6, and 12 months of treatment, mean improvements in ADAS-cog ranged between 2.2 and 3.0 points (all P < 0.05). After 24-month treatment, ADAS-cog returned to baseline value and at 3-year follow-up, patient deteriorated on average by 2.9 points. There was significant improvement on the NPI scale between baseline and 3- to 12-month follow-up (all P < 0.05) and at 3-year endpoint, a slight deterioration was noted. Activities of daily living (B-ADL) decreased significantly after 24 months in self-ratings and after 12 months in caregivers' ratings. Fifty-four patients reported at least one AE, most of them occurring during the first 2 years of treatment. Among the most frequently (>10%) reported AEs irrespective of causal relationship to study medication were nausea (17.3%), dizziness (12%), and vomiting (10.7%).Conclusion
Galantamine was generally safe and well tolerated during the 3-year observation period. Cognition, behavior, and activities of daily living improved during 12 months treatment. At 3-year follow-up, worsening in all outcomes was measured; however, cognition remained improved compared with an untreated population.