TORONTO, July 30 -- Donepezil (Aricept) helped stave off fading cognition in patients with severe Alzheimer's, but failed to otherwise stem the advance of the disease, researchers found.
Approved by the FDA in October 2006 to treat severe as well as moderate forms of the disease, the cholinesterase inhibitor proved mildly effective and safe in helping preserve memory and cognition for patients with advanced disease, Sandra E. Black, M.D., of the University of Toronto, and colleagues, reported in the July 31 issue of Neurology.
The study, supported by Esai and Pfizer, makers of the drug, included 343 patients with severe disease in the U.S., Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Community-dwelling patients with severe Alzheimer's, mean age 78, were enrolled in this six-month multinational, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial at 98 sites. Enrollment ran from May 2001 to mid-January 2005.