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Curr Med Res Opin. 2004 Nov;20(11):1815-20.

Effects of galantamine in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease.

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Université de Bordeaux 2-Hôpital Pellegrin, Bordeaux, France.



Galantamine is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that modulates nicotinic receptors. It is effective in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) but no trial has focused exclusively on mild AD. We performed a post-hoc sub-set analysis using data from four randomised trials to explore the efficacy of galantamine versus placebo in mild AD.


Participants in all studies met NINCDS-ADRDA criteria for probable AD. We examined data from patients with baseline Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) 21-24 who received galantamine 24 mg/day (GAL) or placebo (PLAC). Scores for the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subset (ADAS-cog), Clinician's Interview-Based Impression of Change (CIBIC), Disability Assessment for Dementia (DAD), and ACDS-ADL scales were compared.


Of the 694 patients (362 GAL, 332 PLAC, mean baseline MMSE 22.4 +/- 1.1, mean age 74 +/- 7.9 years), 65% completed 6 months treatment (223 GAL, 229 PLAC). Mean change in ADAS-cog at 6 months was -1.5 (95% confidence interval -2.2, -0.8, p < 0.001) for GAL and +0.2 (-0.6, 0.9, p = 0.72) for PLAC. This difference was statistically significant (p = 0.001). Significantly more patients receiving galantamine were classified as 'improved' using the CIBIC (26.9% GAL vs 14.3% PLAC, p < 0.001). Galantamine was generally well tolerated; most common adverse events were nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.


Pooled data from four randomised trials of patients with mild AD indicate that patients who received galantamine 24 mg/day for 6 months improved cognition more often than those who received placebo and that a higher proportion receiving galantamine were globally improved. This suggests that patients with mild AD benefit from galantamine treatment.

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