Critical appraisal of the long-term impact of memantine in treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease
Umamon Puangthong, Ging-Yuek Robin Hsiung
Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Abstract: Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in older adults. The clinical features include progressive memory decline as well as cognitive deficits with executive dysfunction, language, visual perceptual difficulties, apraxia and agnosia. During the moderate to severe stage of the disease, there is a major decline in memory and function, while neuropsychiatric disturbances often emerge and patients become difficult to manage. These distressing symptoms increase caregiver burden and add to the direct costs of care of the patients. Any improvements in patient function and behavioral symptoms can reduce caregiver burden. Memantine has been available for a number of years in Europe and in North America. In this article, we examine the pharmacological rationale for its use, and the current clinical evidence for its efficacy and long-term effectiveness in the management of cognitive and behavioral symptoms in moderate to severe stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Keywords: memantine, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia
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