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J Pharmacokinet Pharmacodyn. 2014 Dec;41(6):581-98. doi: 10.1007/s10928-014-9375-z. Epub 2014 Aug 29.

An updated Alzheimer's disease progression model: incorporating non-linearity, beta regression, and a third-level random effect in NONMEM.

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Pharmatherapeutics Clinical Pharmacology, Pfizer Inc., Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA,


Our objective was to expand our understanding of the predictors of Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression to help design a clinical trial on a novel AD medication. We utilized the Coalition Against Major Diseases AD dataset consisting of control-arm data (both placebo and stable background AD medication) from 15 randomized double-blind clinical trials in mild-to-moderate AD patients (4,495 patients; July 2013). Our ADAS-cog longitudinal model incorporates a beta-regression with between-study, -subject, and -residual variability in NONMEM; it suggests that faster AD progression is associated with younger age and higher number of apolipoprotein E type 4 alleles (APOE*4), after accounting for baseline disease severity. APOE*4, in particular, seems to be implicated in the AD pathogenesis. In addition, patients who are already on stable background AD medications appear to have a faster progression relative to those who are not receiving AD medication. The current knowledge does not support a causality relationship between use of background AD medications and higher rate of disease progression, and the correlation is potentially due to confounding covariates. Although causality has not necessarily been demonstrated, this model can inform inclusion criteria and stratification, sample size, and trial duration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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