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Combination therapy with cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine for Alzheimer's disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Published:28th Dec 2014
Author: Matsunaga S, Kishi T, Iwata N.
Availability: Free full text
Ref.:Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014;18(5). pii: pyu115.

Background: We performed an updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of combination therapy with cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Methods: We reviewed cognitive function, activities of daily living, behavioral disturbance, global assessment, discontinuation rate, and individual side effects.

Results: Seven studies (total n=2182) were identified. Combination therapy significantly affected behavioral disturbance scores (standardized mean difference=−0.13), activity of daily living scores (standardized mean difference=−0.10), and global assessment scores (standardized mean difference=−0.15). In addition, cognitive function scores (standardized mean difference=−0.13, P=.06) exhibited favorable trends with combination therapy. The effects of combination therapy were more significant in the moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease subgroup in terms of all efficacy outcome scores. The discontinuation rate was similar in both groups, and there were no significant differences in individual side effects.

Conclusions: Combination therapy was beneficial for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease in terms of cognition, behavioral disturbances, activities of daily living, and global assessment was well tolerated.


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