Defining meaningful change in Alzheimer's disease trials: the donepezil experience.
Regulatory guidelines in the US and Europe generally require that a drug specifically indicated for treating Alzheimer's disease (AD) must demonstrate an effect upon the core manifestations of dementia. Progressive cognitive and functional losses are the cardinal features of AD. In the US, current guidelines require that new AD treatments show effectiveness on performance-based measures of cognition and on clinician-rated global assessments. Improvement in function is also emphasized in the European guidelines. The primary instruments that have been used to evaluate changes in cognition and global function in most recent AD trials are the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale and a version of the Clinician's Interview Based Impression of Change, respectively. The results from three pivotal trials investigating the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, donepezil, are used to demonstrate the way in which these tools are used, how to interpret the data they provide, and to determine their overall value in ascertaining efficacy in clinical practice.
McLendon, BM; Doraiswamy, PM
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