Donepezil provides greater benefits in mild compared to moderate Alzheimer’s disease: implications for early diagnosis and treatment
Year of Publication 2011
We assessed the cognitive and functional outcomes of donepezil treatment in mild versus moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. We performed a 6-month prospective, observational, multicenter study of the progression of cognitive and functionality abilities in a large sample patients with AD who initiated treatment with donepezil in monotherapy. According to baseline mini mental state examination (MMSE), patients were divided in two groups: mild AD (MMSE ≥ 21) and moderate AD (MMSE <21). Patients were evaluated with the memory alteration test (M@T) and the Alzheimer's disease functional assessment and change scale (ADFACS) at baseline and at 6 months. A total of 403 patients finished the study (mild AD=152; moderate AD=251). The MMSE total score and M@T score remained stable at 6 months in the whole sample, with MMSE memory domain and M@T free and cued recall domains improving significantly from baseline. Total ADFACS, instrumental (IADL) and basic activities of daily living (BADL) got significantly worse, with the worsening being significantly greater in the moderate AD group. Significant differences between the groups favoring mild AD were observed for MMSE memory, orientation and language domains, M@T temporal orientation and semantic memory domains, and for IADL. We concluded that in AD patients on donepezil, cognition remains stable at 6 months. The beneficial effect of donepezil treatment, in terms of cognition and functionality, is greater for mild than for moderate AD.; Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.