A 2-year open-label study of galantamine therapy in Chinese Alzheimer's disease patients in Hong Kong

L W Chu, P Y Yik, W Mok, C P Chung
International Journal of Clinical Practice 2007, 61 (3): 403-10
There was no long-term clinical study on galantamine in Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the Asian population. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of galantamine on cognitive function, daily functioning, behavioural symptoms and its safety in Chinese AD patients. This was a 2-year open-label clinical trial. The inclusion criteria were patients with probable AD by the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria. A historical control group (n = 19) of AD patients with no galantamine or other cholinesterase inhibitor therapy was employed. In the galantamine group, 33 and 32 subjects had completed a 1-year and 2-year follow up, respectively. Within the galantamine group and at a 6-month follow up, the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-cog score) showed an improvement of 2.9 +/- 1.18 (p = 0.019, paired t-test) but remained the same at 1 and 2 years. The Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Inventory (ADCS-ADL) deteriorated by 4.31 +/- 2.06 (p = 0.044, paired t-test) at 6 months but showed no significant decline at 1 and 2 years vs. baseline. The Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) score also showed a significant deterioration of 5 +/- 1.99 (p = 0.017, paired t-test) at 6 months, 8.06 +/- 1.97 (p < 0.001, paired t-test) at 1 year and 7.31 +/- 1.76 at 2 years. Comparison between the two groups showed a statistically significant improvement in the 1-year ADAS-cog score but decline in the NPI score in the galantamine vs. control groups. Adverse effects were commonly mild. In Chinese mild-moderate AD patients, galantamine showed beneficial effects mainly on the cognitive function.

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