Short-Term Administration of Selegiline for Mild-to-Moderate Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type

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As a follow-up to an earlier study showing short-term benefit in inpatients with more severe dementia, the authors studied the short-term cognitive, functional, and behavioral effects of selegiline in outpatients with mild-to-moderate dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) by means of a double-blind, randomized, crossover study of placebo vs. selegiline. Fifty outpatients with mild-to-moderate DAT and no behavioral disturbances were given selegiline in two 8-week treatment periods separated by a 4-week washout. Outcome was assessed with standardized measures of dementia severity, daily functioning, behavior, and cognition. There was no drug–placebo difference in any outcome measure. Selegiline did not show short-term benefit in this study, contrary to the earlier study, perhaps because the patients were studied less intensively and/or lacked behavioral problems that could show response, although the medication was well tolerated.

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