[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Treatment in moderate or severe Alzheimer’s disease (AD) often involves adding memantine to a cholinesterase-inhibitor (ChEI: donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine). Evidence from six-month randomized trials and long-term observational studies supports superiority of memantine-ChEI combination to ChEI monotherapy. We utilized area-under-the-curve (AUC) analysis to assess six-month cumulative treatment efficacy of memantine-donepezil combination versus component monotherapies on individual clinical domains and on a composite index.
Data were pooled from 1,408 individuals with moderate to severe AD from four six-month randomized trials of memantine monotherapy (n = 570) or add-on therapy (donepezil-only subset: n = 847). AUC changes from baseline on measures of cognition (SIB), function (ADCS-ADL19), behavior (NPI), global status (CIBIC-Plus), and a composite index (4D-CI: equally weighted composite of four domain measures) were calculated using the trapezoidal rule and evaluated via analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) (2-sided-α = 0.05). AUC results were contrasted with visit-by-visit changes from baseline (“snapshot analysis”), performed using a mixed-effects model with repeated measures (MMRM).
Over the entire six-month period, placebo-only treatment was associated with significant cumulative worsening on all outcomes. Memantine-donepezil combination showed significantly greater AUC improvements (point x week) on the SIB, NPI, and CIBIC-Plus than placebo-donepezil (SIB: 68.4 versus 32.0, P = 0.019; NPI: −74.3 versus −28.2, P = 0.003; CIBIC-Plus: −2.5 versus 1.4, P = 0.006) and memantine-only monotherapies (SIB: 68.4 versus 12.0, P <0.001; NPI: −74.3 versus −7.4, P <0.001; CIBIC-Plus: −2.5 versus 2.7, P <0.001), whereas these comparisons were not significant for the ADCS-ADL19 (memantine-donepezil (1.4) versus placebo-donepezil (−0.9), P = 0.407; versus memantine-only (−12.2), P = 0.310). Composite index analysis demonstrated significant cumulative advantages of memantine-donepezil combination (630.0) over placebo-donepezil (344.7, P <0.001) and memantine-only (152.1, P <0.001) treatments. Combining memantine and donepezil had an additive effect. Compared with AUC analysis, baseline-to-endpoint change-score analysis underestimated effects of combination therapy, monotherapies, or both.
This large pooled area-under-the-curve analysis of randomized-trial data in moderate to severe AD provides ecologically valid support that adding memantine to stable donepezil results in overall clinical benefits that are additive compared with individual monotherapies, continue to accumulate through six-month treatment, and are at least 50% greater than those of monotherapies.
Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 12/2015; 7(1). DOI:10.1186/s13195-015-0109-2 · 3.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a growing body of evidence that subtle deficits in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) may be present in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, it is not clear if there are IADL domains that are consistently affected across patients with MCI. In this systematic review, therefore, we aimed to summarize research results regarding the performance of MCI patients in specific IADL (sub)domains compared with persons who are cognitively normal and/or patients with dementia.
The databases PsycINFO, PubMed and Web of Science were searched for relevant literature in December 2013. Publications from 1999 onward were considered for inclusion. Altogether, 497 articles were retrieved. Reference lists of selected articles were searched for potentially relevant articles. After screening the abstracts of these 497 articles, 37 articles were included in this review.
In 35 studies, IADL deficits (such as problems with medication intake, telephone use, keeping appointments, finding things at home and using everyday technology) were documented in patients with MCI. Financial capacity in patients with MCI was affected in the majority of studies. Effect sizes for group differences between patients with MCI and healthy controls were predominantly moderate to large. Performance-based instruments showed slight advantages (in terms of effect sizes) in detecting group differences in IADL functioning between patients with MCI, patients with Alzheimer’s disease and healthy controls.
IADL requiring higher neuropsychological functioning seem to be most severely affected in patients with MCI. A reliable identification of such deficits is necessary, as patients with MCI with IADL deficits seem to have a higher risk of converting to dementia than patients with MCI without IADL deficits. The use of assessment tools specifically designed and validated for patients with MCI is therefore strongly recommended. Furthermore, the development of performance-based assessment instruments should be intensified, as they allow a valid and reliable assessment of subtle IADL deficits in MCI, even if a proxy is not available. Another important point to consider when designing new scales is the inclusion of technology-associated IADL. Novel instruments for clinical practice should be time-efficient and easy to administer.
Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 12/2015; 7(1). DOI:10.1186/s13195-015-0099-0 · 3.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OPtimizing Transdermal Exelon In Mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease (OPTIMA) was a randomized, double-blind comparison of 13.3 mg/24 h versus 9.5 mg/24 h rivastigmine patch in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease who declined despite open-label treatment with 9.5 mg/24 h patch. Over 48 weeks of double-blind treatment, high-dose patch produced greater functional and cognitive benefits compared with 9.5 mg/24 h patch.
Using OPTIMA data, a post-hoc responder analysis was performed to firstly, compare the proportion of patients demonstrating improvement or absence of decline with 13.3 mg/24 h versus 9.5 mg/24 h patch; and secondly, identify predictors of improvement or absence of decline. 'Improvers' were patients who improved on the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog) by ≥4 points from baseline, and did not decline on the instrumental domain of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living scale (ADCS-IADL). 'Non-decliners' were patients who did not decline on either scale.
Overall, 265 patients randomized to 13.3 mg/24 h and 271 to 9.5 mg/24 h patch met the criteria for inclusion in the intention-to-treat population and were included in the analyses. Significantly more patients were 'improvers' with 13.3 mg/24 h compared with 9.5 mg/24 h patch at Weeks 24 (44 (16.6%) versus 19 (7.0%); P < 0.001) and 48 (21 (7.9%) versus 10 (3.7%); P = 0.023). A significantly greater proportion of patients were 'non-decliners' with 13.3 mg/24 h compared with 9.5 mg/24 h patch at Week 24 (71 (26.8%) versus 44 (16.2%); P = 0.002). At Week 48, there was a trend in favor of 13.3 mg/24 h patch. Functional and cognitive assessment scores at double-blind baseline did not consistently predict effects at Weeks 24 or 48.
More patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease who are titrated to 13.3 mg/24 h rivastigmine patch at time of decline are 'improvers' or 'non-decliners' i.e. show responses on cognition and activities of daily living compared with patients remaining on 9.5 mg/24 h patch.
Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00506415; registered July 20, 2007.
Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 12/2015; 7(1):9. DOI:10.1186/s13195-014-0088-8 · 3.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Rapidly progressive dementia (RPD) is caused by a heterogeneous group of both neurodegenerative and non-neurodegenerative disorders. The presence of concomitant pathologies, mainly Alzheimer's disease (AD), may act as a confounding variable in the diagnostic process of this group of diseases.
We aimed to describe clinicopathological features, including Alzheimer's co-pathology, and diagnostic accuracy in a postmortem series of RPD.
Retrospective analysis of 160 brain donors with RPD (defined as 2 years of disease duration from the first symptom to death) registered at the Neurological Tissue Bank of the Biobanc-Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS, from 2001 to 2011.
Prion diseases were the most frequent neuropathological diagnosis (67%), followed by non-prion neurodegenerative pathologies (17%), mostly AD and dementia with Lewy bodies, and non-neurodegenerative diseases (16%). We observed clinicopathological diagnostic agreement in 94% of the patients with prion RPD but only in 21% of those with non-prion RPD. Four patients with potentially treatable disorders were diagnosed, while still alive, as having Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Concomitant pathologies were detected in 117 (73%). Among all RPD cases, 51 presented moderate or frequent mature β-amyloid plaques (neuritic plaques), which are considered to be associated with positive amyloid biomarkers in vivo.
Prion diseases were accurately identified in our series. In contrast, non-prion RPD diagnosis was poor while the patients were still alive, supporting the need for better diagnostic tools and confirmatory neuropathological studies. The presence of concomitant AD pathology in RPD should be taken into account in the interpretation of amyloid biomarkers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common of the neurodegenerative diseases. Recent diagnostic criteria have defined a preclinical disease phase during which neuropathological substrates are thought to be present in the brain. There is an urgent need to find measurable alterations in this phase as well as a good peripheral biomarker in the blood. We selected a cohort of 100 subjects (controls = 47; preclinical AD = 11; patients with AD = 42) and analyzed whole blood expression of 20 genes by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The selected genes belonged to calcium signaling, senescence and autophagy, and mitochondria/oxidative stress pathways. Additionally, two genes associated with an increased risk of developing AD (clusterin (CLU) and bridging integrator 1 (BIN1)) were also analyzed. We detected significantly different gene expressions of BECN1 and PRKCB between the control and the AD groups and of CDKN2A between the control and the preclinical AD groups. Notably, these three genes are also considered tumor suppressor (CDKN2A and BECN1) or tumor promoter (PRKCB) genes. Gene-gene expression Pearson correlations were computed separately for controls and patients with AD. The significant correlations (p < 0.001) were represented in a network analysis with Cytoscape tool, which suggested an uncoupling of mitochondria-related genes in AD group. Whole blood is emerging as a valuable tissue in the study of the physiopathology of AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biobanks are important resources for biomarker discovery and assay development. Biomarkers for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease (BIOMARKAPD) is a European multicenter study, funded by the EU Joint Programme-Neurodegenerative Disease Research, which aims to improve the clinical use of body fluid markers for the diagnosis and prognosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). The objective was to standardize the assessment of existing assays and to validate novel fluid biomarkers for AD and PD. To support the validation of novel biomarkers and assays, a central and a virtual biobank for body fluids and associated data from subjects with neurodegenerative diseases have been established. In the central biobank, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood samples were collected according to the BIOMARKAPD standardized pre-analytical procedures and stored at Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg. The virtual biobank provides an overview of available CSF, plasma, serum, and DNA samples at each site. Currently, at the central biobank of BIOMARKAPD samples are available from over 400 subjects with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), AD, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), vascular dementia, multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, PD, PD with dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies. The virtual biobank contains information on over 8,600 subjects with varying diagnoses from 21 local biobanks. A website has been launched to enable sample requests from the central biobank and virtual biobank.
Frontiers in Neurology 10/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fneur.2015.00216
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research increasingly suggests that subjective cognitive decline (SCD) in older adults, in the absence of objective cognitive dysfunction or depression, may be a harbinger of non-normative cognitive decline and eventual progression to dementia. Little is known, however, about the key features of self-report measures currently used to assess SCD. The Subjective Cognitive Decline Initiative (SCD-I) Working Group is an international consortium established to develop a conceptual framework and research criteria for SCD (Jessen et al., 2014, Alzheimers Dement 10, 844-852). In the current study we systematically compared cognitive self-report items used by 19 SCD-I Working Group studies, representing 8 countries and 5 languages. We identified 34 self-report measures comprising 640 cognitive self-report items. There was little overlap among measures- approximately 75% of measures were used by only one study. Wide variation existed in response options and item content. Items pertaining to the memory domain predominated, accounting for about 60% of items surveyed, followed by executive function and attention, with 16% and 11% of the items, respectively. Items relating to memory for the names of people and the placement of common objects were represented on the greatest percentage of measures (56% each). Working group members reported that instrument selection decisions were often based on practical considerations beyond the study of SCD specifically, such as availability and brevity of measures. Results document the heterogeneity of approaches across studies to the emerging construct of SCD. We offer preliminary recommendations for instrument selection and future research directions including identifying items and measure formats associated with important clinical outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Self-reported and informant-reported subjective cognitive decline (SCD) may be useful in the detection of preclinical Alzheimer's disease (Pre-AD) and cognitive impairment related to abnormal amyloid-β (Aβ42) levels. Objectives: a) To compare the Subjective Cognitive Decline Questionnaire (SCD-Q) ratings between Pre-AD subjects and cognitively healthy controls, b) to study the association of SCD-Q scores with levels of AD biomarkers in cognitively healthy and cognitively impaired subjects, and c) to compare SCD-Q ratings in cognitively impaired subjects with or without abnormal Aβ42. Methods: Two hundred and seventeen participants (111 subjects; 106 informants) answered the SCD-Q. All subjects underwent a lumbar puncture to determine levels of Aβ42 and tau, and an extensive neuropsychological battery. Healthy subjects were classified as Controls (CTR) or Pre-AD according to the absence or the presence of abnormal Aβ42, and those with cognitive impairment (CI) into Non-amyloid (NonAB-CI) or Amyloid (AB-CI) impairment. Results: Informant's SCD-Q scores were significantly higher in the Pre-AD group than in the CTR group (F = 6.75; p = 0.01). No significant differences were found in self-ratings. In the cognitively impaired groups, there were no significant differences in the SCD-Q ratings. In the whole sample, informant's ratings of SCD-Q correlated with Aβ42 (r = -0.21; p = 0.02) and tau levels (r = 0.28; p = 0.00). Conclusions: Higher informant's ratings of SCD-Q differentiated Pre-AD subjects from CTR. Informant's ratings of SCD-Q correlated weakly with cerebrospinal fluid AD biomarkers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is evolving evidence that individuals categorized with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) are potentially at higher risk for developing objective and progressive cognitive impairment compared to cognitively healthy individuals without apparent subjective complaints. Interestingly, SCD, during advancing preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD), may denote very early, subtle cognitive decline that cannot be identified using established standardized tests of cognitive performance. The substantial heterogeneity of existing SCD-related research data has led the Subjective Cognitive Decline Initiative (SCD-I) to accomplish an international consensus on the definition of a conceptual research framework on SCD in preclinical AD. In the area of biological markers, the cerebrospinal fluid signature of AD has been reported to be more prevalent in subjects with SCD compared to healthy controls; moreover, there is a pronounced atrophy, as demonstrated by magnetic resonance imaging, and an increased hypometabolism, as revealed by positron emission tomography, in characteristic brain regions affected by AD. In addition, SCD individuals carrying an apolipoprotein ɛ4 allele are more likely to display AD-phenotypic alterations. The urgent requirement to detect and diagnose AD as early as possible has led to the critical examination of the diagnostic power of biological markers, neurophysiology, and neuroimaging methods for AD-related risk and clinical progression in individuals defined with SCD. Observational studies on the predictive value of SCD for developing AD may potentially be of practical value, and an evidence-based, validated, qualified, and fully operationalized concept may inform clinical diagnostic practice and guide earlier designs in future therapy trials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
The Memory Binding Test (MBT) is a novel test based on the learning of two lists of words, developed to detect early memory impairment suggestive of Alzheimer's disease (AD).
To present and provide reference data of the Spanish MBT in a midlife population of mainly first-degree descendants of AD patients.
472 cognitively unimpaired subjects, aged 45 to 65 and participants of the ALFA STUDY, were included. Raw scores were transformed to scaled scores on which multivariate regression analysis was applied adjusting by age, gender, and education level. A standard linear regression was employed to derive the scaled score adjusted. Sociodemographic corrections were applied and an adjustment table was constructed.
Performance was heterogeneously influenced by sociodemographic factors. Age negatively influenced free recall. Education tends to have an influence in the results showing lower performance with lower education level. Women tend to outperform men in the learning of the first list and total recall. Only a few variables were unaffected by sociodemographic factors such as those related to semantic proactive interference (SPI) and to the retention of learned material. Our results point out that some vulnerability to SPI is expectable in cognitively healthy subjects. Close to 100% of the learned material was maintained across the delay interval.
This study contributes with reference data for the MBT providing the necessary adjustments for sociodemographic characteristics. Our data may prove to be useful for detecting asymptomatic at-risk candidates for secondary prevention studies of AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
Lumbar puncture (LP) is increasingly performed in memory clinics. We investigated patient-acceptance of LP, incidence of and risk factors for post-LP complications in memory clinic populations.
We prospectively enrolled 3868 patients (50% women, age 66 ± 11 years, mini mental state examination 25 ± 5) at 23 memory clinics. We used logistic regression analysis using generalized estimated equations to investigate risk factors for post-LP complications, such as typical postlumbar puncture headache (PLPH) and back pain.
A total of 1065 patients (31%) reported post-LP complaints; 589 patients (17%) reported back pain, 649 (19%) headache, of which 296 (9%) reported typical PLPH. Only few patients needed medical intervention: 11 (0.3%) received a blood patch, 23 (0.7%) were hospitalized. The most important risk factor for PLPH was medical history of headache. An atraumatic needle and age >65 years were preventive. Gender, rest after LP, or volume of cerebrospinal fluid had no effect.
The overall risk of complications is relatively low. If risk factors shown in this study are taken into account, LPs can be safely performed in memory clinics.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jalz.2015.08.003 · 12.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cerebral amyloid-β aggregation is an early pathological event in Alzheimer disease (AD), starting decades before dementia onset. Estimates of the prevalence of amyloid pathology in persons without dementia are needed to understand the development of AD and to design prevention studies.
To use individual participant data meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence of amyloid pathology as measured with biomarkers in participants with normal cognition, subjective cognitive impairment (SCI), or mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Relevant biomarker studies identified by searching studies published before April 2015 using the MEDLINE and Web of Science databases and through personal communication with investigators.
Studies were included if they provided individual participant data for participants without dementia and used an a priori defined cutoff for amyloid positivity.
Individual records were provided for 2914 participants with normal cognition, 697 with SCI, and 3972 with MCI aged 18 to 100 years from 55 studies.
Prevalence of amyloid pathology on positron emission tomography or in cerebrospinal fluid according to AD risk factors (age, apolipoprotein E [APOE] genotype, sex, and education) estimated by generalized estimating equations.
The prevalence of amyloid pathology increased from age 50 to 90 years from 10% (95% CI, 8%-13%) to 44% (95% CI, 37%-51%) among participants with normal cognition; from 12% (95% CI, 8%-18%) to 43% (95% CI, 32%-55%) among patients with SCI; and from 27% (95% CI, 23%-32%) to 71% (95% CI, 66%-76%) among patients with MCI. APOE-ε4 carriers had 2 to 3 times higher prevalence estimates than noncarriers. The age at which 15% of the participants with normal cognition were amyloid positive was approximately 40 years for APOE ε4ε4 carriers, 50 years for ε2ε4 carriers, 55 years for ε3ε4 carriers, 65 years for ε3ε3 carriers, and 95 years for ε2ε3 carriers. Amyloid positivity was more common in highly educated participants but not associated with sex or biomarker modality.
Among persons without dementia, the prevalence of cerebral amyloid pathology as determined by positron emission tomography or cerebrospinal fluid findings was associated with age, APOE genotype, and presence of cognitive impairment. These findings suggest a 20- to 30-year interval between first development of amyloid positivity and onset of dementia.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 05/2015; 313(9):1924-1938. DOI:10.1001/jama.2015.4668 · 35.29 Impact Factor