The purpose of this study is to evaluate the long-term efficacy and safety of galantamine in patients with Alzheimer's disease.
Drug: galantamine hydrobromide
Dementia is a chronic, progressive brain disease that may involve a number of symptoms, including memory loss and changes in personality, behavior, judgment, attention span, language and thought. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Over time, patients with Alzheimer's disease may lose ability to perform daily tasks related to personal care (for example bathing, dressing, eating) and may be unable to handle money or travel to familiar places. Previous short-term studies have shown galantamine to be safe and effective in treating patients with Alzheimer's disease, however the long-term safety and effectiveness of galantamine have not been examined. This multicenter, randomized study will assess whether long-term treatment with galantamine will delay the onset of symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease and examine the safety and effectiveness of long-term treatment with galantamine. Patients will receive 12 months of open-label treatment with galantamine, followed by 24 months of double-blind treatment with galantamine or placebo. Safety evaluations (incidence of adverse events, physical examinations, 12 lead ECGs, vital signs, laboratory tests) will be performed throughout the study. Effectiveness will be determined using standard tests and rating scales to assess mental status, functioning, thinking, behavior, judgment and language (Mini Mental Status Exam [MMSE], Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale [ADAS-cog]; Disability Assessment for Dementia [DAD], and Clinician's Interview Based Impression of Changes plus Family Input [CIBIC-plus]). After the first 4 weeks, assessments will be performed every 3 months during the open-label phase (first 12 months) and then every 6 months during the double-blind phase (13-36 months). Patients whose symptoms worsen as defined by an increase of > or = to 4 points in their ADAS-cog score from the start of the double-blind phase will be withdrawn from the study. The study hypothesis is that long-term treatment with galantamine will be effective in delaying the cognitive deterioration in patients with Alzheimer's disease and that galantamine is well-tolerated with long term treatment. Galantamine 4 milligrams twice daily by mouth for 4 weeks, then 8 milligrams twice daily for 48 weeks. Thereafter, galantamine will be given as 8 milligrams twice daily for an additional 24 months.