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Venlafaxine for Depression in Alzheimer's Disease (DIADs-3) (DIADs-3)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Johns Hopkins University Identifier:
First received: April 27, 2012
Last updated: March 3, 2017
Last verified: March 2017
This study will test the use of venlafaxine to treat the depression in Alzheimer's Disease. Venlafaxine works by increasing natural substances in the brain (serotonin and norepinephrine) that help maintain mental balance. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the commonest neurodegenerative disease of aging and the cause of major financial and emotional burden to patients, families and caregivers, and society. Depression is a very common symptom of AD, affecting as many as 50% of patients over their illness. Depression in AD (Alzheimer's disease) contributes greatly to patient disability and caregiver distress. Neither psychosocial interventions nor psychotropic medications have proven effective to date for the treatment of depression in AD.Venlafaxine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of major depression but it is not known whether or not it can help depression in Alzheimer's Disease.

Condition Intervention
Alzheimer's Disease
Drug: Placebo
Drug: Venlafaxine

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Participant, Care Provider, Investigator
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Venlafaxine for Depression in Alzheimer's Disease

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Johns Hopkins University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • 225 mg daily dose of venlafaxine over 12 weeks will produce changes in response on the modified AD Cooperative Study-Clinical Global Impression of Change and the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia. [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Treatment will be considered efficacious if the proportion of worse categories is lower under treatment than under control on the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Clinical Global Impression of Change and improvements on the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Examine in a proof of concept, 12-week randomized controlled trial, the safety of venlafaxine at a target dose of 225 mg daily for the treatment of Depression in patients with AD. [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Proportions of individuals in each treatment group with adverse events and serious adverse events will be compared using logistic regression.

Enrollment: 5
Study Start Date: April 2012
Study Completion Date: January 2017
Primary Completion Date: December 2016 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Venlafaxine
225 mg daily over 12 weeks
Drug: Venlafaxine
225 mg daily for 12 weeks
Placebo Comparator: Sugar pill Drug: Placebo
Capsule matching active drug to be taken once a day for 12 weeks


Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Dementia due to Alzheimer's disease by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Diploma in Social Medicine (DSM)-IV (TR) criteria (90), with a Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) (82) score of 10-26 inclusive;
  • Depression as defined by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Consensus Criteria,
  • Clinical Dementia Rating Scale of 1 "mild" or 2 "moderate". Ratings of 3 "severe" will be excluded because many of the instruments lack validity in the presence of severe cognitive impairment, particularly language deficits.
  • Sufficiently good health to be treated using the study protocol in usual care circumstances;
  • Patient or surrogate and caregiver provides informed consent for participation in the study;
  • A caregiver is available who spends at least 10 hours per week with the patient, supervises her care, and is willing to accompany the patient to study visits and to provide information about the patient.
  • Female participants must be at least 2 years post menopause or surgically sterilized. Exclusion Criteria
  • Presence of a brain disease that might otherwise fully explain the presence of dementia, such as stroke, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and similar neurologic diseases;
  • Clinically significant psychosis that requires antipsychotic treatment; -Treatment with venlafaxine is contraindicated in the opinion of the attending psychiatrist, for example if there is a prior history of dangerous or -unacceptable side effects when treated with venlafaxine;
  • Failure of treatment with venlafaxine in the past for depression after convincing evidence of a "good trial," for example 8 weeks at the highest tolerated dose;
  • Treatment for a condition or with a medication that would prohibit the safe concurrent use of venlafaxine (specifically including systolic blood pressure > 180 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure > 100 mm Hg);
  • Diagnosis of congenital long Q-T syndrome
  • The patient requires psychiatric hospitalization for depression or is suicidal;
  • Initiation, discontinuation or dose changes in cholinesterase inhibitor or memantine use within the 4 weeks prior to screening.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01609348

United States, Maryland
Johns Hopkins at Bayview
Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 21225
United States, Pennsylvania
Reading Hospital
West Reading, Pennsylvania, United States, 19611
Sponsors and Collaborators
Johns Hopkins University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Johns Hopkins University Identifier: NCT01609348     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: NA_00066043
Study First Received: April 27, 2012
Last Updated: March 3, 2017

Keywords provided by Johns Hopkins University:
Alzheimer's Disease

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Alzheimer Disease
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurocognitive Disorders
Venlafaxine Hydrochloride
Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
Antidepressive Agents
Psychotropic Drugs processed this record on April 26, 2017