[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.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Alzheimer's Research and Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most Alzheimer's disease (AD) clinical trials enroll participants multinationally. Yet, few data exist to guide investigators and sponsors regarding the types of patients enrolled in these studies and whether participant characteristics vary by region.
We used data derived from four multinational phase III trials in mild to moderate AD to examine whether regional differences exist with regard to participant demographics, safety reporting, and baseline scores on the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), the 11-item Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog11), the Clinical Dementia Rating scale Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB), the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Inventory (ADCS-ADL), and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). We assigned 31 participating nations to 7 geographic regions: North America, South America/Mexico, Western Europe/Israel, Eastern Europe/Russia, Australia/South Africa, Asia, and Japan.
North America, Western Europe/Israel, and Australia/South Africa enrolled similar proportions of men, apolipoprotein E ε4 carriers, and participants with spouse study partners, whereas Asia, Eastern Europe/Russia, and South America/Mexico had lower proportions for these variables. North America and South America/Mexico enrolled older subjects, whereas Asia and South America/Mexico enrolled less-educated participants than the remaining regions. Approved AD therapy use differed among regions (range: 73% to 92%) and was highest in North America, Western Europe/Israel, and Japan. Dual therapy was most frequent in North America (48%). On the MMSE, North America, Western Europe/Israel, Japan, and Australia/South Africa had higher (better) scores, and Asia, South America/Mexico, and Eastern Europe/Russia had lower scores. Eastern Europe/Russia had more impaired ADAS-cog11 scores than all other regions. Eastern Europe/Russia and South America/Mexico had more impaired scores for the ADCS-ADL and the CDR-SB. Mean scores for the CDR-SB in Asia were milder than all regions except Japan. NPI scores were lower in Asia and Japan than in all other regions. Participants in North America and Western Europe/Israel reported more adverse events than those in Eastern Europe/Russia and Japan.
These findings suggest that trial populations differ across geographic regions on most baseline characteristics and that multinational enrollment is associated with sample heterogeneity. The data provide initial guidance with regard to the regional differences that contribute to this heterogeneity and are important to consider when planning global trials.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Alzheimer's Research and Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Agitation is common among patients with Alzheimer disease; safe, effective treatments are lacking. OBJECTIVE To assess the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of dextromethorphan hydrobromide-quinidine sulfate for Alzheimer disease-related agitation. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Phase 2 randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial using a sequential parallel comparison design with 2 consecutive 5-week treatment stages conducted August 2012-August 2014. Patients with probable Alzheimer disease, clinically significant agitation (Clinical Global Impressions-Severity agitation score≥4), and a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 8 to 28 participated at 42 US study sites. Stable dosages of antidepressants, antipsychotics, hypnotics, and antidementia medications were allowed. INTERVENTIONS In stage 1, 220 patients were randomized in a 3:4 ratio to receive dextromethorphan-quinidine (n = 93) or placebo (n = 127). In stage 2, patients receiving dextromethorphan-quinidine continued; those receiving placebo were stratified by response and rerandomized in a 1:1 ratio to dextromethorphan-quinidine (n = 59) or placebo (n = 60). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary end pointwas change from baseline on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) Agitation/Aggression domain (scale range, 0 [absence of symptoms] to 12 [symptoms occur daily and with marked severity]). RESULTS Atotal of 194 patients (88.2%) completed the study. With the sequential parallel comparison design, 152 patients received dextromethorphan-quinidine and 127 received placebo during the study. Analysis combining stages 1 (all patients) and 2 (rerandomized placebo nonresponders)showedsignificantlyreducedNPIAgitation/Aggressionscoresfordextromethorphanquinidinevsplacebo( ordinaryleastsquareszstatistic,-3.95;P < .001).Instage1,meanNPIAgitation/ Aggression scoreswere reduced from 7.1 to 3.8 with dextromethorphan-quinidine and from 7.0to 5.3withplacebo.Between-grouptreatmentdifferencesweresignificantinstage1(leastsquaresmean, -1.5; 95%CI, -2.3 to -0.7; P<.001). In stage 2, NPI Agitation/Aggression scoreswere reduced from 5.8 to 3.8 with dextromethorphan-quinidine and from 6.7 to 5.8 with placebo. Between-group treatmentdifferenceswere also significant in stage2(leastsquaresmean,-1.6;95%CI,-2.9to-0.3; P=.02).Adverseevents included falls (8.6%fordextromethorphan-quinidine vs3.9%for placebo), diarrhea (5.9%vs 3.1%respectively), and urinary tract infection (5.3%vs 3.9%respectively). Serious adverse events occurred in 7.9%with dextromethorphan-quinidine vs 4.7%with placebo. Dextromethorphan-quinidinewas not associated with cognitiveimpairment, sedation, or clinically significantQTc prolongation. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In this preliminary 10-week phase 2 randomized clinical trial of patients with probable Alzheimer disease, combination dextromethorphan-quinidine demonstrated clinically relevant efficacy for agitation and was generally well tolerated. TRIAL REGISTRATION clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01584440
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: The concordance of the Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA) with more comprehensive neuropsychological measures remains unclear. This study examined the individual MoCA domains with more comprehensive and commonly used neuropsychological measures to determine the degree of overlap. Methods: Data included individuals seen in an outpatient neurology clinic specializing in neurodegenerative disease who were administered the MoCA and also underwent neuropsychological assessment (n=471). A principal component analysis with varimax rotation was completed using the MoCA domain scores and comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation measures. Results: Four factors emerged accounting for 55.6% of the variance: (1) visuospatial/executive functioning; (2) memory; (3) attention; and (4) language. The individual MoCA domain scores demonstrated high factor loadings with standard neuropsychological measures purported to measure similar cognitive constructs. Discussion: These findings provide empirical validation for the MoCA domain classifications, lending further support for the use of the MoCA as a cognitive screen that reflects similar constructs as those measured by a comprehensive battery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and its prevalence is increasing. Recent developments in AD management provide improved ways of supporting patients and their caregivers throughout the disease continuum. Managing cardiovascular risk factors, maintaining an active lifestyle (with regular physical, mental and social activity) and following a Mediterranean diet appear to reduce AD risk and may slow cognitive decline. Pharmacologic therapy for AD should be initiated upon diagnosis. All of the currently available cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs; donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine) are indicated for mild-to-moderate AD. Donepezil (10 and 23 mg/day) and rivastigmine transdermal patch (13.3 mg/24 h) are indicated for moderate-to-severe AD. Memantine, an N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist, is approved for moderate-to-severe AD. ChEIs have been shown to improve cognitive function, global clinical status and patients' ability to perform activities of daily living. There is also evidence for reduction in emergence of behavioral symptoms with ChEI therapy. Treatment choice (e.g., oral vs. transdermal) should be based on patient or caregiver preference, ease of use, tolerability, and cost. Treatment should be individualized; patients can be switched from one ChEI to another if the initial agent is poorly tolerated or ineffective. Memantine may be introduced in moderate-to-severe disease stages. Clinicians will regularly monitor symptoms and behaviors, manage comorbidities, assess function, educate and help caregivers access information and support, evaluate patients' fitness to drive or own firearms, and provide advice about the need for legal and financial planning. Review of caregiver well-being and prompt referral for support is vital.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is increasing in frequency as the global population ages. Five drugs are approved for treatment of AD, including four cholinesterase inhibitors and an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor antagonist. We have an urgent need to find new therapies for AD.
We examined Clinicaltrials.gov, a public website that records ongoing clinical trials. We examined the decade of 2002 to 2012, to better understand AD-drug development. We reviewed trials by sponsor, sites, drug mechanism of action, duration, number of patients required, and rate of success in terms of advancement from one phase to the next. We also reviewed the current AD therapy pipeline.
During the 2002 to 2012 observation period, 413 AD trials were performed: 124 Phase 1 trials, 206 Phase 2 trials, and 83 Phase 3 trials. Seventy-eight percent were sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. The United States of America (U.S.) remains the single world region with the greatest number of trials; cumulatively, more non-U.S. than U.S. trials are performed. The largest number of registered trials addressed symptomatic agents aimed at improving cognition (36.6%), followed by trials of disease-modifying small molecules (35.1%) and trials of disease-modifying immunotherapies (18%). The mean length of trials increases from Phase 2 to Phase 3, and the number of participants in trials increases between Phase 2 and Phase 3. Trials of disease-modifying agents are larger and longer than those for symptomatic agents. A very high attrition rate was found, with an overall success rate during the 2002 to 2012 period of 0.4% (99.6% failure).
The Clinicaltrials.gov database demonstrates that relatively few clinical trials are undertaken for AD therapeutics, considering the magnitude of the problem. The success rate for advancing from one phase to another is low, and the number of compounds progressing to regulatory review is among the lowest found in any therapeutic area. The AD drug-development ecosystem requires support.
Preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Alzheimer's Research and Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Repurposing Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs for a new indication may offer an accelerated pathway for new treatments to patients but is also fraught with significant commercial, regulatory, and reimbursement challenges. The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) convened an advisory panel in October 2013 to understand stakeholder perspectives related to repurposing FDA-approved drugs for neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we present opportunities on how philanthropy, industry, and government can begin to address these challenges, promote policy changes, and develop targeted funding strategies to accelerate the potential of FDA-approved repurposed drugs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progress has been made in understanding the genetics and molecular biology of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Targets for intervention have been identified, therapies are being developed, and clinical trials are advancing. A major challenge for FTD research is that multiple underlying pathologies can be associated with heterogeneous phenotypes. The neuropsychological profiles associated with FTD spectrum disorders often include executive dysfunction, language impairments and behavioral disturbance. Behavioral variant FTD is characterized by an initial presentation of changes in personality, behavior and/or emotion, which are often difficult to objectively capture using traditional neuropsychological measures. The two principal language variants of FTD are Progressive Nonfluent Aphasia (PNFA) with predominant agrammatic/non-fluent impairments and Semantic Dementia (SD) with semantic impairments and visual agnosia. Selection of appropriate endpoints for clinical trials is critical to ensure that the measures are adequately sensitive to detect change, yet specific enough to isolate signal from noise, and acceptable to regulatory agencies. Given the anticipated potential for small effect sizes, measures must be able to identify small incremental changes over time. It is also imperative that the measures provide adequate coverage of the constructs or behaviors of interest. Selected outcome measures should be suitable for repeat administration, yet relatively robust to practice effects to ensure that observed changes reflect true signal variance and not residual effects due to repeated measurement or poor reliability. To facilitate widespread adoption as an endpoint, measures should be readily accessible. We provide several examples of potential global, composite, and individual cognitive measures, as well as behavioral measures promising for FTD trials. Development and application of appropriate trial outcomes is critically important to success in advancing new treatments for FTD patients.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Translational Neurodegeneration
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the past 8 years, both the International Working Group (IWG) and the US National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association have contributed criteria for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) that better define clinical phenotypes and integrate biomarkers into the diagnostic process, covering the full staging of the disease. This Position Paper considers the strengths and limitations of the IWG research diagnostic criteria and proposes advances to improve the diagnostic framework. On the basis of these refinements, the diagnosis of AD can be simplified, requiring the presence of an appropriate clinical AD phenotype (typical or atypical) and a pathophysiological biomarker consistent with the presence of Alzheimer's pathology. We propose that downstream topographical biomarkers of the disease, such as volumetric MRI and fluorodeoxyglucose PET, might better serve in the measurement and monitoring of the course of disease. This paper also elaborates on the specific diagnostic criteria for atypical forms of AD, for mixed AD, and for the preclinical states of AD.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · The Lancet Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To advance disease-modifying therapies, it is critical to understand the relationship between the neuropathological changes of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and the clinical measures used in therapeutic trials. We reviewed neuropathologically proven cases of AD from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC) and examined correlations between neuropathological changes and clinical-trial related instruments collected as part of the Uniform Dataset (UDS). We explored the relationships between neurofibrillary tangles, neuritic plaques, and total pathology burden with immediate and delayed recall, Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes, Functional Activity Questionnaire, Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire, and Mini-Mental State Examination scores. 169 patients in NACC database had appropriate neuropathological and clinical data. All instruments correlated highly with neuritic plaques, Braak staging, and total pathology. Correlation coefficients for the relationships were relatively modest, suggesting that the pathologic burden examined accounts for between 13 and 40% of the variance of each of the instruments assessed. We conclude that there is a strong correlation between clinical trial-related measures and neuropathology identified at autopsy in AD. The amount of variance explained by the pathology is limited and other factors, both disease- and measurement-related, contribute to the variability observed in clinical measurements.
No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · American Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases