In patients with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment, the Alzheimer's drug memantine may not be useful, an analysis of studies has revealed.
Researchers at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles analyzed randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical trials of memantine that involved patients with mild to moderate AD. A systematic search yielded three trials that involved 431 patients with mild AD and 697 patients with moderate AD.
"There were no significant differences between memantine and placebo on any outcome for patients with mild AD, either within any trial or when data were combined," the authors led by Lon S. Schneider reported.
Memantine is a drug that has been approved for moderate to severe AD. However it is frequently prescribed off-label for mild AD and mild cognitive impairment as well. But as this analysis shows, it may not have any beneficial effects in mild disease.
The study details have been posted online today and are due to appear in the August issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.