A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of aripiprazole for the treatment of psychosis in nursing home patients with alzheimer disease

Joel E. Streitn, Anton P. Porsteinsson, Christopher D. Breder, Rene Swanink, Ronald Marcus, Robert McQuade, William H. Carson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of aripiprazole treatment for psychotic symptoms associated with Alzheimer disease (AD). Methods: In this parallel group, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, flexible-dose trial, institutionalized subjects with AD and psychotic symptoms were randomized to aripiprazole (n = 131) or placebo (n = 125) for 10 weeks. The aripiprazole starting dose was 2 mg/day, and could be titrated to higher doses (5, 10, and 15 mg/day) based on efficacy and tolerability. Results: No significant differences in mean change [2 X SD] from baseline between aripiprazole (mean dose ∼9 mg/day at endpoint; range = 0.7-15.0 mg) and placebo were detected in the coprimary efficacy endpoints of Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Nursing Home Version (NPI-NH) Psychosis score (aripiprazole, -4.53 [9.23]', placebo, -4.62 [9.56]; F = 0.02, df = 1, 222, p = 0.883 [ANCOVAJ) and Clinical Global Impression (CGI)-Severity score (aripiprazole, -0.57 [1.63]; placebo, -0.43 [1.65]; F = 1.67, df = 1, 220, p = 0.198 [ANCOVAJ) at endpoint. However, improvements in several secondary efficacy measures (NPI-NH Total, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale Total, CGI - improvement, Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory and Cornell Depression Scale scores) indicated that aripiprazole may confer clinical benefits beyond the primary outcome measures. Treatment-emergent adverse events (AEs) were similar in both groups, except for somnolence (aripiprazole, 14%; placebo, 4%). Somnolence with aripiprazole was of mild or moderate intensity, and not associated with accidental injury. Incidence of AEs related to extrapyramidal symptoms was low with aripiprazole (5%) and placebo (4%). Conclusions: In nursing home residents with AD and psychosis, aripiprazole did not confer specific benefits for the treatment of psychotic symptoms; but psychological and behavioral symptoms, including agitation, anxiety, and depression, were improved with aripiprazole, with a low risk of AEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-550
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume16
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2008

Keywords

  • Alzheimer disease
  • Aripiprazole
  • Behavioral symptoms
  • Dementia
  • Psychotic symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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