Dimebon Improves Cognition in Alzheimer's Patients

Mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease improves with dimebon over 26 weeks

FRIDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Dimebon improved the clinical course of patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease and was both safe and well tolerated, according to the results of a study published in the July 19 issue of The Lancet.

Rachelle S. Doody, M.D., of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues randomized 183 patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease to receive oral dimebon or a matched placebo and assessed cognition using the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer's disease assessment scale.

After 26 weeks of treatment, the dimebon treatment group demonstrated a significant benefit over the placebo group with a four-point drug/placebo difference on the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer's disease assessment scale, the researchers report. Dry mouth and depressive symptoms were the most common adverse events occurring in 14 percent of patients. The investigators found that the percentage of adverse events among the two groups did not differ.

"Importantly, the treatment effect in this trial was not driven by an unusual rate of deterioration in patients given placebo," the authors write. "The continued and increasing benefit of dimebon over the course of this study is especially important because at present no approved therapies for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease have shown increasing improvement over 12 months."

Funding provided by Medivation and several authors report financial ties to the company.

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