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Drugs Aging. 2004;21(14):931-7.

Rivastigmine in frontotemporal dementia: an open-label study.

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1
Dipartimento di Fisiologia e Patologia, Università di Trieste, Triste, Italy. moretti@univ.trieste.it

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This preliminary open-label study aims to investigate the effects of rivastigmine, an inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), in 20 patients diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Study subjects were men and women 60-75 years of age diagnosed with probable FTD. The rivastigmine group received doses of 3-9 mg/day. The control group included matched patients receiving antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and selegiline (deprenyl). All patients completed a 12-month follow-up period.

RESULTS:

Rivastigmine treatment was well tolerated. At 12 months, there was a general amelioration of behavioural changes as demonstrated by reductions in Neuropsychiatric Inventory (p<0.001 vs baseline and control), Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease Rating Scale (p<0.001 vs baseline and control) and Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia scores (p<0.05 vs baseline, p<0.001 vs control) in the rivastigmine group. Caregiver burden was reduced, as shown by reduced Relative Stress Scale scores (p<0.001 vs baseline and control). Mean scores on outcome measures evaluating executive function stabilised in the rivastigmine group (p<0.05 vs controls). Rivastigmine did not prevent the disease-related deterioration of cognition as assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination.

CONCLUSION:

In this open-label study, rivastigmine-treated patients were less behaviourally impaired, and caregiver burden was reduced, at 12 months, compared with baseline. The use of cholinesterase inhibitors in FTD warrants further research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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