Aricept (Page 4 of 6)

14.2 Moderate to Severe Alzheimer’s Disease

The effectiveness of ARICEPT in the treatment of patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease was established in studies employing doses of 10 mg/day and 23 mg/day. Results of a controlled clinical trial in moderate to severe Alzheimer’s Disease that compared ARICEPT 23 mg once daily to 10 mg once daily suggest that a 23 mg dose of ARICEPT provided additional benefit.

Swedish 6 Month Study (10 mg/day)

The effectiveness of ARICEPT as a treatment for severe Alzheimer’s disease is demonstrated by the results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study conducted in Sweden (6 month study) in patients with probable or possible Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed by NINCDS-ADRDA and DSM-IV criteria, MMSE: range of 1-10. Two hundred and forty eight (248) patients with severe Alzheimer’s disease were randomized to ARICEPT or placebo. For patients randomized to ARICEPT, treatment was initiated at 5 mg once daily for 28 days and then increased to 10 mg once daily. At the end of the 6 month treatment period, 90.5% of the ARICEPT treated patients were receiving the 10 mg/day dose. The mean age of patients was 84.9 years, with a range of 59 to 99. Approximately 77% of patients were women, and 23% were men. Almost all patients were Caucasian. Probable Alzheimer’s disease was diagnosed in the majority of the patients (83.6% of ARICEPT treated patients and 84.2% of placebo treated patients).

Study Outcome Measures
The effectiveness of treatment with ARICEPT was determined using a dual outcome assessment strategy that evaluated cognitive function using an instrument designed for more impaired patients and overall function through caregiver-rated assessment. This study showed that patients on ARICEPT experienced significant improvement on both measures compared to placebo.

The ability of ARICEPT to improve cognitive performance was assessed with the Severe Impairment Battery (SIB). The SIB, a multi-item instrument, has been validated for the evaluation of cognitive function in patients with moderate to severe dementia. The SIB evaluates selective aspects of cognitive performance, including elements of memory, language, orientation, attention, praxis, visuospatial ability, construction, and social interaction. The SIB scoring range is from 0 to 100, with lower scores indicating greater cognitive impairment.

Daily function was assessed using the Modified Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Activities of Daily Living Inventory for Severe Alzheimer’s Disease (ADCS-ADL-severe). The ADCS-ADL-severe is derived from the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Activities of Daily Living Inventory, which is a comprehensive battery of ADL questions used to measure the functional capabilities of patients. Each ADL item is rated from the highest level of independent performance to complete loss. The ADCS-ADL-severe is a subset of 19 items, including ratings of the patient’s ability to eat, dress, bathe, use the telephone, get around (or travel), and perform other activities of daily living; it has been validated for the assessment of patients with moderate to severe dementia. The ADCS-ADL-severe has a scoring range of 0 to 54, with the lower scores indicating greater functional impairment. The investigator performs the inventory by interviewing a caregiver, in this study a nurse staff member, familiar with the functioning of the patient.

Effects on the SIB Figure 7 shows the time course for the change from baseline in SIB score for the two treatment groups over the 6 months of the study. At 6 months of treatment, the mean difference in the SIB change scores for ARICEPT treated patients compared to patients on placebo was 5.9 points. ARICEPT treatment was statistically significantly superior to placebo.

Figure 7. Time Course of the Change from Baseline in SIB Score for Patients Completing 6 Months of Treatment.
(click image for full-size original)

Figure 7. Time Course of the Change from Baseline in SIB Score for Patients Completing 6 Months of Treatment.

Figure 8 illustrates the cumulative percentages of patients from each of the two treatment groups who attained the measure of improvement in SIB score shown on the X-axis. While patients assigned both to ARICEPT and to placebo have a wide range of responses, the curves show that the ARICEPT group is more likely to show a greater improvement in cognitive performance.

Figure 8. Cumulative Percentage of Patients Completing 6 Months of Double-blind Treatment with Particular Changes from Baseline in SIB Scores.
(click image for full-size original)

Figure 8. Cumulative Percentage of Patients Completing 6 Months of Double-blind Treatment with Particular Changes from Baseline in SIB Scores.

Figure 9. Time Course of the Change from Baseline in ADCS-ADL-Severe Score for Patients Completing 6 Months of Treatment.
(click image for full-size original)

Figure 9. Time Course of the Change from Baseline in ADCS-ADL-Severe Score for Patients Completing 6 Months of Treatment.

Effects on the ADCS-ADL-severe Figure 9 illustrates the time course for the change from baseline in ADCS-ADL-severe scores for patients in the two treatment groups over the 6 months of the study. After 6 months of treatment, the mean difference in the ADCS-ADL-severe change scores for ARICEPT treated patients compared to patients on placebo was 1.8 points. ARICEPT treatment was statistically significantly superior to placebo.

Figure 10 shows the cumulative percentages of patients from each treatment group with specified changes from baseline ADCS-ADL-severe scores. While both patients assigned to ARICEPT and placebo have a wide range of responses, the curves demonstrate that the ARICEPT group is more likely to show a smaller decline or an improvement.

Figure 10. Cumulative Percentage of Patients Completing 6 Months of  Double-blind Treatment with Particular Changes from Baseline in ADCS-ADL-Severe Scores.
(click image for full-size original)

Figure 10. Cumulative Percentage of Patients Completing 6 Months of Double-blind Treatment with Particular Changes from Baseline in ADCS-ADL-Severe Scores.

Japanese 24-Week Study (10 mg/day)

In a study of 24 weeks duration conducted in Japan, 325 patients with severe Alzheimer’s disease were randomized to doses of 5 mg/day or 10 mg/day of donepezil, administered once daily, or placebo. Patients randomized to treatment with donepezil were to achieve their assigned doses by titration, beginning at 3 mg/day, and extending over a maximum of 6 weeks. Two hundred and forty eight (248) patients completed the study, with similar proportions of patients completing the study in each treatment group. The primary efficacy measures for this study were the SIB and CIBIC-plus.

At 24 weeks of treatment, statistically significant treatment differences were observed between the 10 mg/day dose of donepezil and placebo on both the SIB and CIBIC-plus. The 5 mg/day dose of donepezil showed a statistically significant superiority to placebo on the SIB, but not on the CIBIC-plus.

Study of 23 mg/day

The effectiveness of ARICEPT 23 mg/day as a treatment for moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease has been demonstrated by the results of a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical investigation in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. The controlled clinical study was conducted globally in patients with probable Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed by NINCDS-ADRDA and DSM-IV criteria, MMSE: range of 0-20. Patients were required to have been on a stable dose of ARICEPT 10 mg/day for at least 3 months prior to screening. One thousand four hundred and thirty four (1434) patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease were randomized to 23 mg/day or 10 mg/day. The mean age of patients was 73.8 years, with a range of 47 to 90. Approximately 63% of patients were women, and 37% were men. Approximately 36% of the patients were taking memantine throughout the study.

Study Outcome Measures
The effectiveness of treatment with 23 mg/day was determined using a dual outcome assessment strategy that evaluated cognitive function using an instrument designed for more impaired patients and overall function through caregiver-rated assessment.

The ability of 23 mg/day to improve cognitive performance was assessed with the Severe Impairment Battery (SIB). The SIB, a multi-item instrument, has been validated for the evaluation of cognitive function in patients with moderate to severe dementia. The SIB evaluates selective aspects of cognitive performance, including elements of memory, language, orientation, attention, praxis, visuospatial ability, construction, and social interaction. The SIB scoring range is from 0 to 100, with lower scores indicating greater cognitive impairment.

The ability of 23 mg/day to produce an overall clinical effect was assessed using a Clinician’s Interview-Based Impression of Change that incorporated the use of caregiver information, the CIBIC-plus. The CIBIC-plus used in this trial was a semi-structured instrument that examines four major areas of patient function: General, Cognitive, Behavioral, and Activities of Daily Living. It represents the assessment of a skilled clinician based upon his/her observations at an interview with the patient, in combination with information supplied by a caregiver familiar with the behavior of the patient over the interval rated. The CIBIC-plus is scored as a seven-point categorical rating, ranging from a score of 1, indicating “markedly improved,” to a score of 4, indicating “no change” to a score of 7, indicating “markedly worse.”

Effects on the SIB Figure 11 shows the time course for the change from baseline in SIB score for the two treatment groups over the 24 weeks of the study. At 24 weeks of treatment, the LS mean difference in the SIB change scores for 23 mg/day-treated patients compared to patients treated with 10 mg was 2.2 units (p = 0.0001). The dose of 23 mg/day was statistically significantly superior to the dose of 10 mg/day.

Figure 11. Time-course of the Change from Baseline in SIB Score for Patients Completing 24 Weeks of Treatment.
(click image for full-size original)

Figure 11. Time-course of the Change from Baseline in SIB Score for Patients Completing 24 Weeks of Treatment.

Figure 12 illustrates the cumulative percentages of patients from each of the two treatment groups who attained the measure of improvement in SIB score shown on the X-axis. While patients assigned both to 23 mg/day and to 10 mg/day have a wide range of responses, the curves show that the 23 mg-group is more likely to show a greater improvement in cognitive performance. When such curves are shifted to the left, this indicates a greater percentage of patients responding to treatment on the SIB.

Figure 12. Cumulative Percentage of Patients Completing 24 Weeks of Double-blind Treatment with Specified Changes from Baseline SIB Scores.
(click image for full-size original)

Figure 12. Cumulative Percentage of Patients Completing 24 Weeks of Double-blind Treatment with Specified Changes from Baseline SIB Scores.

Effects on the CIBIC-plus Figure 13 is a histogram of the frequency distribution of CIBIC-plus scores attained by patients at the end of 24 weeks of treatment. The mean difference between the 23 mg/day and 10 mg/day treatment groups was 0.06 units. This difference was not statistically significant.

Figure 13. Frequency Distribution of CIBIC-plus Scores at Week 24.
(click image for full-size original)

Figure 13. Frequency Distribution of CIBIC-plus Scores at Week 24.

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