Comprehensive program plus medication more effective for functioning in Alzheimer's disease

Barry Reisberg

A comprehensive, individualized management program significantly improved functioning in moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease, compared with memantine treatment alone or placebo, according to data presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

“Alzheimer’s and dementia clinicians have known for some time that medication alone is not enough to stop disease progression,” study researcher Barry Reisberg, MD, of NYU Langone Medical Center, said in a press release. “Our new research shows that a comprehensive, patient-centered care program brings significant benefits in daily activities, which are important to individuals with Alzheimer's and those who care for and about them.”

To compare efficacy of a comprehensive, individualized, person-centered management program vs. memantine alone for moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease, researchers conducted a 28-week randomized controlled trial among 20 individuals. Study participants were randomly assigned to receive usual community care plus memantine treatment or the comprehensive program plus memantine treatment.

There was a mean difference in Functional Assessment Staging Measure (FAST) scores of 3 between participants who received the comprehensive program plus memantine vs. memantine alone.

Findings from a 2003 trial indicated a mean difference in FAST scores of 0.4 between participants wo received memantine treatment vs. placebo.

Based on these findings, the researchers suggested the comprehensive program improved functioning 7.5 times more than memantine alone.

“While there are many great resources for people with Alzheimer’s and their families within communities, direct training in basic skills in more severe and more disturbed persons with Alzheimer's is an underutilized and understudied treatment method in the clinic setting that has not been studied,” Reisberg said in the release. – by Amanda Oldt

Reference:

Kenowsky S, et al. Comprehensive, individualized, person-centered management program in subjects treated with memantine, enhances functioning by 750%, in comparison with memantine treatment alone in persons with moderate-to-severe AD in 28-week randomized controlled trials. Presented at: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference; July 16-20, 2017; London.

Disclosure: Healio.com/Psychiatry could not confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.

Barry Reisberg

A comprehensive, individualized management program significantly improved functioning in moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease, compared with memantine treatment alone or placebo, according to data presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

“Alzheimer’s and dementia clinicians have known for some time that medication alone is not enough to stop disease progression,” study researcher Barry Reisberg, MD, of NYU Langone Medical Center, said in a press release. “Our new research shows that a comprehensive, patient-centered care program brings significant benefits in daily activities, which are important to individuals with Alzheimer's and those who care for and about them.”

To compare efficacy of a comprehensive, individualized, person-centered management program vs. memantine alone for moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease, researchers conducted a 28-week randomized controlled trial among 20 individuals. Study participants were randomly assigned to receive usual community care plus memantine treatment or the comprehensive program plus memantine treatment.

There was a mean difference in Functional Assessment Staging Measure (FAST) scores of 3 between participants who received the comprehensive program plus memantine vs. memantine alone.

Findings from a 2003 trial indicated a mean difference in FAST scores of 0.4 between participants wo received memantine treatment vs. placebo.

Based on these findings, the researchers suggested the comprehensive program improved functioning 7.5 times more than memantine alone.

“While there are many great resources for people with Alzheimer’s and their families within communities, direct training in basic skills in more severe and more disturbed persons with Alzheimer's is an underutilized and understudied treatment method in the clinic setting that has not been studied,” Reisberg said in the release. – by Amanda Oldt

Reference:

Kenowsky S, et al. Comprehensive, individualized, person-centered management program in subjects treated with memantine, enhances functioning by 750%, in comparison with memantine treatment alone in persons with moderate-to-severe AD in 28-week randomized controlled trials. Presented at: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference; July 16-20, 2017; London.

Disclosure: Healio.com/Psychiatry could not confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.

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