Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and is characterised by a worsening of cognition, functional ability, and behaviour and mood. The objective of this study was to review the clinical and cost-effectiveness of memantine for the treatment of patients with moderately severe to severe AD. To achieve this, a systematic search and review of the clinical and cost effectiveness literature for memantine was undertaken. The literature search covered the period from the inception of MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, EMBASE and other electronic databases until July 2004. The search included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and full economic evaluations that assessed the use of memantine in patients with moderately severe to severe AD.
Two published RCTs were included in this review; in one of these trials the participants were already being treated with donepezil. The two RCTs showed benefit for patients receiving memantine compared with placebo on the outcome measures of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Activities of Daily Living Inventory modified for severe dementia, the Clinician’s Interview-Based Impression of Change Plus Caregiver Input, and the Severe Impairment Battery, and that memantine appeared to be slightly more effective in patients already receiving a stable dose of donepezil. Five cost-effectiveness studies were included in the review. Although these studies reported cost reductions and improved outcomes with memantine, the evaluations were based on a number of assumptions.
In conclusion, memantine appears to be beneficial when assessed using functional and global measurements. However, the effect of memantine on cognitive scores and behaviour and mood outcomes is less clear. Cost-effectiveness is dependent upon assumptions surrounding clinical effect and context-specific cost data.
Memantine Rivastigmine Galantamine Transit Probability Personal Social Service
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The study was completed as part of a review funded by the UK National Health Service Research and Development Health Technology Assessment Programme, and commissioned on behalf of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. The view and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the UK Department of Health.
The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this study.
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