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The clinical meaningfulness of ADAS-Cog changes in Alzheimer's disease patients treated with donepezil in an open-label trial

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Author(s): Rockwood Kenneth | Fay Sherri | Gorman Mary | Carver Daniel | Graham Janice

Journal: BMC Neurology
ISSN 1471-2377

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 26;
Date: 2007;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background In 6-month anti-dementia drug trials, a 4-point change in the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog) is held to be clinically important. We examined how this change compared with measures of clinical meaningfulness. Methods This is a secondary analysis of a 12 month open-label study of 100 patients (71 women) diagnosed with mild to moderate AD treated with 5–10 mg of donepezil daily. We studied the observed case, 6-month change from baseline on the ADAS-Cog, the Clinician's Interview Based Impression of Change-Plus Caregiver Input (CIBIC-Plus), patient-Goal Attainment Scaling (PGAS) and clinician-GAS (CGAS). Results At 6 months, donepezil-treated patients (n = 95) were more likely to show no change (+/- 3 points) on the ADAS-Cog (56%) than to improve (20%) or decline (24%) by 4-points. ADAS-Cog change scores were little correlated with other measures: from -0.09 for PGAS to 0.27 for the CIBIC-Plus. While patients who improved on the ADAS-Cog were less likely to decline on the clinical measures (26%), 43% of patients who declined on the ADAS-Cog improved on at least two of the clinical measures. Conclusion The ADAS-Cog did not capture all clinically important effects. In general, ADAS-Cog improvement indicates clinical improvement, whereas many people with ADAS-Cog decline do not show clinical decline. The open-label design of this study does not allow us to know whether this is a treatment effect, which requires further investigation.
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