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Memantine Appears Beneficial in Dementia With Lewy Bodies

Last Updated: August 23, 2010.

Treatment with memantine may lessen deterioration and improve behavioral symptoms in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies but not those with Parkinson's disease dementia, according to a study published online Aug. 23 in The Lancet Neurology.

MONDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with memantine may lessen deterioration and improve behavioral symptoms in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) but not those with Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD), according to a study published online Aug. 23 in The Lancet Neurology.

Murat Emre, M.D., of Istanbul University in Turkey, and colleagues randomized 121 patients with PDD and 78 with DLB (aged 50 or older) to daily treatment with memantine (an N-methyl D-aspartate receptor antagonist) or placebo. The researchers evaluated functional, behavioral, cognitive, and global performance at baseline and at weeks four, 12, 16, and 24.

The investigators found that patients with DLB given memantine had greater improvement on the Alzheimer's disease cooperative study (ADCS) clinical global impression of change scores than those who received placebo. However, there were no significant differences between the memantine and placebo groups in patients with PDD or in the total study population. Similarly, neuropsychiatric-inventory scores showed significantly more improvement with memantine than placebo in patients with DLB, but not with PDD or in the total study population. There were no significant differences between the two treatment groups in any of the study populations in most of the cognitive tests, the ADCS-activities of daily living, or Zarit caregiver burden scores.

"Memantine seems to improve global clinical status and behavioral symptoms of patients with mild to moderate DLB, and might be an option for treatment of these patients," the authors write.

The study was supported by Lundbeck. Study authors reported financial ties to Lundbeck and other pharmaceutical and/or medical device companies.

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