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The effects of memantine on behavioral disturbances in patients with Alzheimer's disease: a meta-analysis

Authors Kishi T, Matsunaga S, Iwata N

Received 29 May 2017

Accepted for publication 21 June 2017

Published 20 July 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 1909—1928

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S142839

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Prof. Dr. Roumen Kirov

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Taro Kishi,* Shinji Matsunaga,* Nakao Iwata

Department of Psychiatry, Fujita Health University School of Medicine, Toyoake, Aichi, Japan

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Memantine is effective in the treatment of behavioral disturbances in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. It has not yet been fully determined which behavioral disturbances respond best to memantine.
Methods: We conducted a meta-analysis of memantine vs control (placebo or usual care) for the treatment of individual behavioral disturbances (delusion, hallucination, agitation/aggression, dysphoria, anxiety/phobia, euphoria, apathy, disinhibition, irritability/lability, aberrant motor activity/activity disturbances, nighttime disturbance/diurnal rhythm disturbances, and eating disturbances). Randomized controlled studies of memantine in patients with Alzheimer’s disease were included in this study. To evaluate these outcomes, standardized mean difference (SMD), with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs), based upon a random-effects model was evaluated in the meta-analysis.
Results: A total of 11 studies (n=4,261; memantine vs placebo: N=4, n=1,500; memantine + cholinesterase inhibitors [M + ChEIs] vs ChEIs: N=7, n=2,761) were included in the meta-analysis. Compared to control, memantine showed significant improvement in agitation/aggression (SMD =-0.11; 95% CIs =-0.20, -0.03; P=0.01; I2=47%), delusion (SMD =-0.12; 95% CIs =-0.18, -0.06; P=0.0002; I2=0%), disinhibition (SMD =-0.08; 95% CIs =-0.15, -0.00; P=0.04; I2=0%), and nighttime disturbance/diurnal rhythm disturbances (SMD =-0.10; 95% CIs =-0.18, -0.02; P=0.02; I2=36%). Memantine was also marginally superior to control in hallucination (SMD =-0.06; 95% CIs =-0.12, 0.01; P=0.07; I2=0%) and irritability/lability (SMD =-0.09; 95% CIs =-0.19, 0.01; P=0.07; I2=42%). Memantine is similar to control in dysphoria, anxiety/phobia, euphoria, apathy, and eating disturbance.
Conclusion: The meta-analysis suggest that memantine has benefits for the treatment of most of the behavioral disturbances in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Memantine does not deteriorate negative symptoms as behavioral disturbances in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Keywords: memantine, Alzheimer’s disease, behavioral disturbances, meta-analysis

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