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Use of Antidementia Agents in Vascular Dementia: Beyond Alzheimer Disease

  • Martin R. Farlow
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests and correspondence to Martin R. Farlow, MD, Department of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine, CL 299, 541 Clinical Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46202
    Affiliations
    Department of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
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      Vascular dementia (VaD) is the second leading cause of dementia and is often underdiagnosed. Stroke is the leading cause of VaD, although it may also develop secondary to a variety of other cerebrovascular or cardiovascular conditions. Currently, no drugs are approved for the treatment of VaD. However, because cholinergic deficits have been found in patients with VaD, similar to those found in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD), it is believed that cholinesterase inhibitors, which are indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate AD, may also provide benefit for patients with VaD. Clinical trials of donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine have supported this idea, although as yet, large-scale, prospective studies in VaD have only been reported for donepezil. Donepezil was shown to provide benefits in cognition, global function, and activities of daily living compared with placebo. The N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist memantine may also provide some cognitive benefit in VaD, particularly in patients with more advanced disease. These data suggest that antidementia drugs currently used for treatment of AD should be considered for treatment of VaD as well.
      AD (Alzheimer disease), ADAS-cog (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale), ADL (activities of daily living), ChEI (cholinesterase inhibitor), CIBIC-Plus (Clinician's Interview-Based Impression of Change-Plus caregiver input), CVD (cerebrovascular disease), IADL (instrumental activities of daily living), NINDS-AIREN (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Association Internationale pour la Recherche et l'Enseignement en Neurosciences), OL (open-label), VaD (vascular dementia)
      Vascular dementia (VaD) is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer disease (AD) and accounts for approximately 10% to 20% of dementia cases worldwide. Together AD, VaD, or a combination of both may account for up to 90% of all diagnosed dementia cases,
      • Fratiglioni L
      • De Ronchi D
      • Agüero-Torres H
      Worldwide prevalence and incidence of dementia.
      whereas Lewy body dementia alone or in combination with AD may be responsible for up to 15% to 25% of cases.
      • Perry RH
      • Irving D
      • Blessed G
      • Fairbairn A
      • Perry EK
      Senile dementia of Lewy body type: a clinically and neuropathologically distinct form of Lewy body dementia in the elderly.
      Vascular dementia is a clinical syndrome of cognitive decline caused by ischemic, hemorrhagic, or oligemic injury to the brain as a consequence of cardiovascular disease or cerebrovascular disease (CVD).
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia revisited: diagnosis, pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention.
      Subcortical ischemic VaD is a common form caused by small-vessel occlusions with multiple lacunas and by hypoperfusive lesions from resultant stenosis of medullary arterioles. Vascular dementia forms part of a spectrum of vascular cognitive impairment that also includes cognitive impairment with no dementia and mixed AD with vascular disease.
      • Rockwood K
      • Howard K
      • MacKnight C
      • Darvesh S
      Spectrum of disease in vascular cognitive impairment.
      Thus, vascular conditions may be the primary factor in the development of dementia but can also exacerbate existing dementia.
      • Snowdon DA
      • Greiner LH
      • Mortimer JA
      • Riley KP
      • Greiner PA
      • Markesbery WR
      Brain infarction and the clinical expression of Alzheimer disease: the Nun Study.
      Age is the predominant risk factor for poststroke VaD, the most common form of VaD.
      • Pohjasvaara T
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Vataja R
      • Kaste M
      Dementia three months after stroke: baseline frequency and effect of different definitions of dementia in the Helsinki Stroke Aging Memory Study (SAM) cohort.
      • Breteler MM
      • Ott A
      • Hofman A
      The new epidemic: frequency of dementia in the Rotterdam Study.
      Each year, approximately 750,000 Americans, most of whom are older than 65 years, experience a stroke (Figure 1)
      • Williams GR
      • Jiang JG
      • Matchar DB
      • Samsa GP
      Incidence and occurrence of total (first-ever and recurrent) stroke.
      ; between 35% and 62% of the survivors develop some level of cognitive impairment within 3 months.
      • Pohjasvaara T
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Vataja R
      • Kaste M
      Dementia three months after stroke: baseline frequency and effect of different definitions of dementia in the Helsinki Stroke Aging Memory Study (SAM) cohort.
      • Tatemichi TK
      • Desmond DW
      • Stern Y
      • Paik M
      • Sano M
      • Bagiella E
      Cognitive impairment after stroke: frequency, patterns, and relationship to functional abilities.
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      FIGURE 1Increasing incidence of stroke with age. From Stroke,
      • Williams GR
      • Jiang JG
      • Matchar DB
      • Samsa GP
      Incidence and occurrence of total (first-ever and recurrent) stroke.
      with permission from Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
      Approximately 125,000 new cases of VaD occur after ischemic stroke each year in the United States.
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia revisited: diagnosis, pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention.
      Another 26% of patients may develop at least some degree of cognitive impairment after heart failure.
      • Zuccalà G
      • Onder G
      • Pedone C
      • GIFA-ONLUS Study Group
      • et al.
      Hypotension and cognitive impairment: selective association in patients with heart failure.
      More than 1 million elderly people in the United States may be affected by VaD, many cases of which go undiagnosed.
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia revisited: diagnosis, pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention.
      Thus, VaD may be the most underrecognized and undertreated form of dementia in elderly patients.
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia may be the most common form of dementia in the elderly.
      Although the loss of brain tissue after recurrent stroke has long been recognized as a causative factor, it has become apparent that the once common description of VaD as multi-infarct dementia is an oversimplification. In fact, VaD can result from a variety of conditions that compromise the cerebral vasculature, including multiple large infarcts, single strategic infarcts, small vessel disease, hypoperfusion, and hemorrhage. Thus, VaD has a diverse and complex pathology, which is aggravated by the effects of aging, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac arrhythmias, or congestive heart failure, all of which can weaken vascular integrity and increase the likelihood of cognitive loss.
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia revisited: diagnosis, pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention.
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia may be the most common form of dementia in the elderly.
      • Sachdev PS
      • Brodaty H
      • Looi JC
      Vascular dementia: diagnosis, management and possible prevention.

      CLINICAL DIAGNOSTIC FEATURES OF VaD

      Both VaD and AD share many similarities in symptoms, risk factors, and pathologic features, which can make differential diagnosis difficult (Table 1).
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia: distinguishing characteristics, treatment, and prevention.
      To date, effective clinical criteria for diagnosis of VaD remain elusive. This limitationclearly impedes clinical progress and affects accurate interpretation of reported clinical findings. However, dementia after stroke is common and has proved to be valid as a diagnostic marker.
      • Tatemichi TK
      • Desmond DW
      • Stern Y
      • Paik M
      • Sano M
      • Bagiella E
      Cognitive impairment after stroke: frequency, patterns, and relationship to functional abilities.
      According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Association Internationale pour la Recherche et l'Enseignement en Neurosciences (NINDS-AIREN) criteria, developed at a workshop that involved an international panel of neurologists and neuroscientists,
      • Román GC
      • Tatemichi TK
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • et al.
      Vascular dementia: diagnostic criteria for research studies: report of the NINDS-AIREN International Workshop.
      a diagnosis of probable VaD is made if dementia is associated with focal neurologic signs and imaging evidence of CVD is present (Table 2).
      TABLE 1Key Differential Diagnostic Features of Vascular Dementia (VaD)
      • Sachdev PS
      • Brodaty H
      • Looi JC
      Vascular dementia: diagnosis, management and possible prevention.
      • Román GC
      • Tatemichi TK
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • et al.
      Vascular dementia: diagnostic criteria for research studies: report of the NINDS-AIREN International Workshop.
      • Features typical of a classic presentation of VaD
        • Nocturnal confusion and wandering
        • Preservation of emotional responsiveness and personality
        • Depression
        • Emotional lability
        • Incontinence
        • Somatic symptoms
        • Visuospatial dysfunction
        • Dysphasia
        • Cognitive slowing
        • Impairment of executive function
        • Focal neurologic symptoms (eg, visual disturbances, brainstem abnormalities, sensory or motor symptoms) and signs (eg, hemiparesis, visual field defects, pseudobulbar palsy, extrapyramidal signs)
      • Features that exclude a diagnosis of VaD
        • Early onset of memory deficit
        • Progressive decline of memory deficit and other cognitive functions (eg, language, motor skills, and perception) without focal lesions
        • Absence of cerebrovascular lesions on brain imaging
      TABLE 2Features Required for a Diagnosis of Vascular Dementia
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia revisited: diagnosis, pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention.
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia: distinguishing characteristics, treatment, and prevention.
      • Román GC
      • Tatemichi TK
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • et al.
      Vascular dementia: diagnostic criteria for research studies: report of the NINDS-AIREN International Workshop.
      Clinical featureTest
      Dementia, defined as decline in cognitive functioning that causes impaired functioning in daily life in >2 cognitive domains (eg, orientation, attention, language, visuospatial functions, executive functions, motor control, praxis)
      • Clinical examination
      • Neuropsychological testing
      Cerebrovascular disease, defined by the presence of focal signs on examination (eg, weakness, sensory loss, exaggerated reflexes, Babinski sign, visual field defects, pseudobulbar palsy, incontinence) and evidence of cerebrovascular disease on brain imaging
      • Neurologic examination
      • Computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging
      Relationship between the onset of dementia and cerebrovascular disease, inferred by onset of dementia within 3 mo of a recognized stroke and/or abrupt deterioration in cognitive functions or fluctuating stepwise progression of cognitive deficits
      • Thorough and careful history taking
      • The view of someone close to the patient can be helpful
      Some key differences exist between dementia of vascular origin and that of AD. The onset of VaD is oftensudden, occurring after a transient ischemic attack or a stroke, after which the clinical course may be static, remitting, or progressive, often with a fluctuating or stepwise deterioration.
      • Sachdev PS
      • Brodaty H
      • Looi JC
      Vascular dementia: diagnosis, management and possible prevention.
      In contrast, the onset of AD is invariably gradual and typically affects memory to a greater extent in early stages.
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia: distinguishing characteristics, treatment, and prevention.
      On the other hand, whereas multiple strokes that affect the large cerebral arteries or single strategic strokes that affect a crucial part of the brain (eg, the thalamus or angular gyrus) usually result in the acute onset of symptoms in VaD, ministrokes that affect the small vessels in the subcortical regions of the brain can produce gradual onset and slower progression of symptoms, reminiscent of AD.
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia revisited: diagnosis, pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention.
      • Sachdev PS
      • Brodaty H
      • Looi JC
      Vascular dementia: diagnosis, management and possible prevention.
      Nevertheless, the possibility of VaD should be considered in any patient who presents with recent-onset dementia and a history of risk factors for CVD.

      VaD AND AD: DEFINING OVERLAPS AND DISTINCTIONS

      Both VaD and AD share certain vascular risk factors (hypertension, peripheral artery disease, some cardiovascular disorders, diabetes mellitus, and smoking), indicating that similar mechanisms may be involved in disease pathogenesis. Potential mechanisms include breach of the blood-brain barrier, apolipoprotein E polymorphism, oxidative stress, angiotensin derangements, apoptosis, neurotransmitter abnormalities, and psychological stress.
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia: distinguishing characteristics, treatment, and prevention.
      It is well established that the progression of AD is accompanied by a decline in cholinergic neurotransmission.
      • Bartus RT
      • Dean III, RL
      • Beer B
      • Lippa AS
      The cholinergic hypothesis of geriatric memory dysfunction.
      • Francis PT
      • Palmer AM
      • Snape M
      • Wilcock GK
      The cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease: a review of progress.
      • Whitehouse PJ
      • Price DL
      • Clark AW
      • Coyle JT
      • DeLong MR
      Alzheimer disease: evidence for selective loss of cholinergic neurons in the nucleus basalis.
      The extent of cholinergic dysfunction in patients with AD is correlated with the level of cognitive impairment,
      • Perry EK
      • Tomlinson BE
      • Blessed G
      • Bergmann K
      • Gibson PH
      • Perry RH
      Correlation of cholinergic abnormalities with senile plaques and mental test scores in senile dementia.
      • Shinotoh H
      • Namba H
      • Fukushi K
      • et al.
      Progressive loss of cortical acetylcholinesterase activity in association with cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease: a positron emission tomography study.
      and this is the rationale behind the use of cholinesteraseinhibitors (ChEIs) to improve cognitive function in patients with AD.
      Similar neurotransmitter deficits have been found in patients with VaD. Low levels of acetylcholine have been found in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with VaD, and the levels are inversely correlated with the severity of dementia.
      • Tohgi H
      • Abe T
      • Kimura M
      • Saheki M
      • Takahashi S
      Cerebrospinal fluid acetylcholine and choline in vascular dementia of Binswanger and multiple small infarct types as compared with Alzheimer-type dementia.
      Lesions of cholinergic pathways have also been observed in VaD.
      • Swartz RH
      • Sahlas DJ
      • Black SE
      Strategic involvement of cholinergic pathways and executive dysfunction: does location of white matter signal hyperintensities matter?.
      Therefore cholinergic deficits may be a common feature of the cognitive impairment seen in both AD and VaD.
      Beyond the stated similarities, VaD and AD are conditions that are distinguishable in the clinic based on inherent differences in onset and progression.
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia: distinguishing characteristics, treatment, and prevention.
      Main points of differentiation include memory, executive function, and gait.
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia: distinguishing characteristics, treatment, and prevention.

      MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTION OF VaD: A ROLE FOR ChEIs?

      There are currently no agents licensed in the United States for the treatment of the symptoms of VaD. Management of VaD focuses on preventing strokes by reducing cerebrovascular risk factors, especially among patients in high-risk groups such as elderly patients; those with hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, previous transient ischemic attack, or stroke; and smokers (Table 3).
      • Sachdev PS
      • Brodaty H
      • Looi JC
      Vascular dementia: diagnosis, management and possible prevention.
      TABLE 3Typical Strategies for Primary Prevention of Vascular Dementia Through Reduction of Cerebrovascular Risk Factors
      From Med J Aust,
      • Sachdev PS
      • Brodaty H
      • Looi JC
      Vascular dementia: diagnosis, management and possible prevention.
      with permission. Copyright 1999 The Medical Journal of Australia.
      • Treat hypertension and diabetes optimally
      • Control hyperlipidemia with statins
      • Persuade patients to stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption
      • Prescribe anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation
      • Prescribe antiplatelet therapy and aspirin to reduce the risk of recurrent stroke and ischemic attack
      • Perform carotid endarterectomy for severe (>70%) carotid stenosis
      • Use dietary control for diabetes, obesity, and hyperlipidemia
      • Recommend lifestyle changes (eg, weight loss, exercise, stress reduction, decreased salt intake)
      • Provide intensive rehabilitation after stroke
      The possibility that a cholinergic deficit may contribute to the cognitive symptoms seen in VaD has prompted the investigation of antidementia agents such as ChEIs as potential symptomatic treatments for patients with this type of dementia. Important measures of the clinical effectiveness of an antidementia drug in AD or VaD are its effects on cognition and global functioning. In addition, VaD often affects executive functioning (an interrelated set of abilities that includes cognitive flexibility, concept formation, and self-monitoring) early in the disease
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia: distinguishing characteristics, treatment, and prevention.
      ; thus, in studies of patients with VaD, their ability to perform everyday tasks dependent on executive functioning is monitored.
      Substantial clinical evidence exists regarding risk factors for the prevention of VaD. The main modifiable risk factors for VaD are hypertension, cardiac abnormalities, smoking, lipid abnormalities, diabetes mellitus, and elevated homocysteine levels.
      • Román GC
      Vascular dementia: distinguishing characteristics, treatment, and prevention.
      The potential of the ChEIs donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine and of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist memantine for improving symptoms has been investigated in a number of studies in populations of patients with pure VaD and also in studies including those with AD and CVD.
      • Black S
      • Román GC
      • Geldmacher DS
      • Donepezil 307 Vascular Dementia Study Group
      • et al.
      Efficacy and tolerability of donepezil in vascular dementia: positive results of a 24-week, multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
      • Wilkinson D
      • Doody R
      • Helme R
      • Donepezil 308 Study Group
      • et al.
      Donepezil in vascular dementia: a randomized, placebo-controlled study.
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Gauthier S
      • Bullock R
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CV
      Efficacy of galantamine in probable vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease combined with cerebrovascular disease: a randomised trial.
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Small GW
      • Bullock R
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CV
      • GAL-INT-6 Study Group
      An open-label extension trial of galantamine in patients with probable vascular dementia and mixed dementia [published correction appears in Clin Ther. 2003;25:2336].
      • Small G
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Lilienfeld S
      Galantamine in the treatment of cognitive decline in patients with vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease.
      • Kurz AF
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Small GW
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CR
      Long-term safety and cognitive effects of galantamine in the treatment of probable vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      Rivastigmine in subcortical vascular dementia: a comparison trial on efficacy and tolerability for 12 months follow-up [letter].
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Griggio S
      • Bava A
      An open-label pilot study comparing rivastigmine and low-dose aspirin for the treatment of symptoms specific to patients with subcortical vascular dementia.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Bava A
      Rivastigmine in subcortical vascular dementia: an open 22-month study.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Bava A
      Rivastigmine in subcortical vascular dementia: a randomized, controlled, open 12-month study in 208 patients.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • et al.
      Rivastigmine superior to aspirin plus nimodipine in subcortical vascular dementia: an open, 16-month, comparative study.
      • Orgogozo J-M
      • Rigaud A-S
      • Stöffler A
      • Möbius H-J
      • Forette F
      Efficacy and safety of memantine in patients with mild to moderate vascular dementia: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial (MMM 300).
      • Wilcock G
      • Möbius HJ
      • Stöffler A
      • MMM 500 group
      A double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre study of memantine in mild to moderate vascular dementia (MMM500).
      The strength of the conclusions that can be drawn from these studies varies with several factors that will be discussed herein.

      FACTORS THAT AFFECT CLINICAL TRIALS

      Study design is a major factor that influences the results of clinical trials. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials are considered to produce the highest standard of evidence. In contrast, nonrandomized or open-label (OL) studies may be subject to bias and may lack appropriate comparators.
      Another factor to consider is the measures used for comparison. The use of more widely accepted measures, and even multiple tests evaluating the same modality, maximizes the chance of a valid measurement and enhances the possibility for comparisons with other studies.
      The analytical techniques in clinical studies are also important. For example, last observation carried forwardanalysis is a technique that replaces missing patient values at a given time point with the most recent available value. Thus, any measured improvements attributed to a drug at a given time point are likely to be conservatively estimated. In contrast, observed case analyses omit data from patients who are not participating at the end of the assessment period and may selectively omit patients who withdrew from the study because of a lack of response.

      COMMONLY USED INSTRUMENTS IN CLINICAL TRIALS

      The Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog),
      • Rosen WG
      • Mohs RC
      • Davis KL
      A new rating scale for Alzheimer's disease.
      or variations of this instrument, is widely used to detect improvements in cognitive function in clinical trials of dementia.
      • Schneider LS
      An overview of rating scales used in dementia research.
      The Mini-Mental State Examination
      • Folstein MF
      • Folstein SE
      • McHugh PR
      “Mini-mental state”: a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician.
      is used most frequently in inclusion criteria and secondarily as a measure of cognitive change.
      The overall clinical response to treatment is commonly evaluated using the Clinician's Interview-Based Impression of Change-Plus caregiver input (CIBIC-Plus). This global function instrument assesses cognition, function, behavior, and activities of daily living (ADL) in general by patient and caregiver interviews.
      • Schneider LS
      An overview of rating scales used in dementia research.
      Another commonly used test is the Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of the Boxes,
      • Hughes CP
      • Berg L
      • Danziger WL
      • Coben LA
      • Martin RL
      A new clinical scale for the staging of dementia.
      which sums the ratings from 6 boxes of the Clinical Dementia Rating (memory, orientation, judgment, community affairs, home/hobbies, and personal care).
      The ADL are often categorized into basic, such as dressing, washing, and personal grooming, or instrumental (IADL), such as telephoning, shopping, food preparation, and housekeeping. These are usually assessed by a caregiver using one of a number of available scoring systems that assign points to specific tasks. Some instruments, such as the Alzheimer's Disease Functional Assessment and Change Scale
      • Mohs RC
      • Doody RS
      • Morris JC
      • “312” Study Group
      • et al.
      A 1-year, placebo-controlled preservation of function survival study of donepezil in AD patients [published correction appears in Neurology. 2001;57:1942].
      and the Disability Assessment for Dementia,
      • Gélinas I
      • Gauthier L
      • McIntyre M
      • Gauthier S
      Development of a functional measure for persons with Alzheimer's disease: the Disability Assessment for Dementia.
      have scales that include basic and instrumental ADL, thus allowing their use across a spectrum of disease severity. In these scales, IADL measures are reasonable indicators of the level of executive function.

      DONEPEZIL

      Donepezil is a piperidine-class compound that selectively inhibits acetylcholinesterase in the brain.
      • Sugimoto H
      • Iimura Y
      • Yamanishi Y
      • Yamatsu K
      Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors: 1-benzyl-4-[(5,6-dimethoxy-1-oxoindan-2-yl)methyl]piperidine hydrochloride and related compounds.
      It is well tolerated and, in patients with AD, has been shown to produce significant benefits in cognition, global function, behavior, and ADL across the continuum of disease severity.
      • Mohs RC
      • Doody RS
      • Morris JC
      • “312” Study Group
      • et al.
      A 1-year, placebo-controlled preservation of function survival study of donepezil in AD patients [published correction appears in Neurology. 2001;57:1942].
      • Rogers SL
      • Farlow MR
      • Doody RS
      • Mohs R
      • Friedhoff LT
      • Donepezil Study Group
      A 24-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of donepezil in patients with Alzheimer's disease.
      • Burns A
      • Rossor M
      • Hecker J
      • International Donepezil Study Group
      • et al.
      The effects of donepezil in Alzheimer's disease—results from a multinational trial.
      • Winblad B
      • Engedal K
      • Soininen H
      • Donepezil Nordic Study Group
      • et al.
      A 1-year, randomized, placebo-controlled study of donepezil in patients with mild to moderate AD.
      • Feldman H
      • Gauthier S
      • Hecker J
      • Vellas B
      • Subbiah P
      • Whalen E
      • Donepezil MSAD Study Investigators Group
      A 24-week, randomized, double-blind study of donepezil in moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease [published correction appears in Neurology. 2001;57:2153].
      • Holmes C
      • Wilkinson D
      • Dean C
      • et al.
      The efficacy of donepezil in the treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer disease.
      Donepezil at dosages of 5 or 10 mg/d has been investigated for the treatment of VaD in 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-month trials that involved more than 600 patients each.
      • Black S
      • Román GC
      • Geldmacher DS
      • Donepezil 307 Vascular Dementia Study Group
      • et al.
      Efficacy and tolerability of donepezil in vascular dementia: positive results of a 24-week, multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
      • Wilkinson D
      • Doody R
      • Helme R
      • Donepezil 308 Study Group
      • et al.
      Donepezil in vascular dementia: a randomized, placebo-controlled study.
      Stringent criteria wereused in these studies, with all patients having probable or possible VaD meeting NINDS-AIREN criteria
      • Román GC
      • Tatemichi TK
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • et al.
      Vascular dementia: diagnostic criteria for research studies: report of the NINDS-AIREN International Workshop.
      of more than 3 months' duration and radiologic or clinical evidence of CVD; patients with a diagnosis of mixed dementia or of AD dementia were excluded.
      Both studies showed that, compared with placebotreated patients, donepezil-treated patients had statistically significant dose-related improvements in cognitive function, as measured by change in the ADAS-cog score (Figure 2).
      • Black S
      • Román GC
      • Geldmacher DS
      • Donepezil 307 Vascular Dementia Study Group
      • et al.
      Efficacy and tolerability of donepezil in vascular dementia: positive results of a 24-week, multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
      • Wilkinson D
      • Doody R
      • Helme R
      • Donepezil 308 Study Group
      • et al.
      Donepezil in vascular dementia: a randomized, placebo-controlled study.
      Wilkinson et al
      • Wilkinson D
      • Doody R
      • Helme R
      • Donepezil 308 Study Group
      • et al.
      Donepezil in vascular dementia: a randomized, placebo-controlled study.
      also found that a significantly greater proportion of patients in both donepezil-treated groups showed improvements on the CIBIC-Plus than in the placebo group. A similar trend was found on the CIBIC-Plus in the study reported by Black et al
      • Black S
      • Román GC
      • Geldmacher DS
      • Donepezil 307 Vascular Dementia Study Group
      • et al.
      Efficacy and tolerability of donepezil in vascular dementia: positive results of a 24-week, multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
      but was statistically significant only for the 5-mg/d group. In addition, both studies found that scores on the Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of the Boxes were significantly improved in the 10-mg/d group compared with the placebo group.
      Figure thumbnail gr2
      FIGURE 2Least squares (LS) mean change scores (last observation carried forward) at week 24 on the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale in studies 307 and 308.
      • Black S
      • Román GC
      • Geldmacher DS
      • Donepezil 307 Vascular Dementia Study Group
      • et al.
      Efficacy and tolerability of donepezil in vascular dementia: positive results of a 24-week, multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
      • Wilkinson D
      • Doody R
      • Helme R
      • Donepezil 308 Study Group
      • et al.
      Donepezil in vascular dementia: a randomized, placebo-controlled study.
      Error bars indicate 95% confidence intervals. Donep = donepezil; * = P<.01; † = P<.001.
      Furthermore, both studies found that donepezil preserved the ability of patients with VaD to perform basic and instrumental tasks.
      • Black S
      • Román GC
      • Geldmacher DS
      • Donepezil 307 Vascular Dementia Study Group
      • et al.
      Efficacy and tolerability of donepezil in vascular dementia: positive results of a 24-week, multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
      • Wilkinson D
      • Doody R
      • Helme R
      • Donepezil 308 Study Group
      • et al.
      Donepezil in vascular dementia: a randomized, placebo-controlled study.
      The Alzheimer's Disease Functional Assessment and Change Scale scores showed that patients treated with donepezil for 6 months maintained a level of function close to that at baseline, whereas the scores in the placebo-treated patients deteriorated. Although these differences were not statistically significant at study end point, similar trends were also apparent in analyses of the IADL subscale in both studies and were statistically significant for the 5-mg/d group in one study.
      • Black S
      • Román GC
      • Geldmacher DS
      • Donepezil 307 Vascular Dementia Study Group
      • et al.
      Efficacy and tolerability of donepezil in vascular dementia: positive results of a 24-week, multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
      This finding suggests that executive function was preserved in donepeziltreated patients.
      Donepezil was well tolerated, with approximately the same proportion of patients in each group reporting adverse events in one study
      • Wilkinson D
      • Doody R
      • Helme R
      • Donepezil 308 Study Group
      • et al.
      Donepezil in vascular dementia: a randomized, placebo-controlled study.
      and a slightly higher proportion in the 10-mg/d group in the other study.
      • Black S
      • Román GC
      • Geldmacher DS
      • Donepezil 307 Vascular Dementia Study Group
      • et al.
      Efficacy and tolerability of donepezil in vascular dementia: positive results of a 24-week, multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
      A relatively low proportion of patients in each group withdrew because of adverse events, despite the frequency of comorbid vascular risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes.
      Although statistically significant differences at the end point of these studies (week 24 last observation carried forward) were not always realized, this may have been a result of underpowering for some analyses; however, the identical design of these studies has allowed a combined analysis of treatment groups from both studies, and a preliminary report indicated that differences were statistically significant for cognition, global function, and ADL in both donepezil treatment groups compared with placebo.
      • Farcnik K
      • Pratt RD
      • Perdomo CA
      • Donepezil 307 and 309 VaD Study Groups
      Donepezil provides significant benefits on cognition, global function, and activities of daily living in patients with vascular dementia [abstract]?.

      GALANTAMINE

      Galantamine is a ChEI that has demonstrated beneficial effects on cognition, global function, ADL, and behavior in mild to moderate AD.
      • Raskind MA
      • Peskind ER
      • Wessel T
      • Yuan W
      • Galantamine USA-1 Study Group
      Galantamine in AD: a 6-month randomized, placebo-controlled trial with a 6-month extension.
      • Tariot PN
      • Solomon PR
      • Morris JC
      • Kershaw P
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Ding C
      • Galantamine USA-10 Study Group
      A 5-month, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of galantamine in AD.
      • Wilcock GK
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Gaens E
      • Galantamine International-1 Study Group
      Efficacy and safety of galantamine in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: multicentre randomised controlled trial [published correction appears in BMJ. 2001;322:405].
      • Rockwood K
      • Mintzer J
      • Truyen L
      • Wessel T
      • Wilkinson D
      Effects of a flexible galantamine dose in Alzheimer's disease: a randomised, controlled trial.
      Galantamine (24 mg/d) has been evaluated for symptomatic treatment of VaD and AD plus CVD in a 6-month, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Gauthier S
      • Bullock R
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CV
      Efficacy of galantamine in probable vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease combined with cerebrovascular disease: a randomised trial.
      that was followed by a second-phase 6-month OL extension study.
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Small GW
      • Bullock R
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CV
      • GAL-INT-6 Study Group
      An open-label extension trial of galantamine in patients with probable vascular dementia and mixed dementia [published correction appears in Clin Ther. 2003;25:2336].
      • Small G
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Lilienfeld S
      Galantamine in the treatment of cognitive decline in patients with vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease.
      An interim report of another 24-month extension of this study has been published.
      • Kurz AF
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Small GW
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CR
      Long-term safety and cognitive effects of galantamine in the treatment of probable vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease.
      This study had less stringent inclusion criteria and included patients with features of both VaD and AD.
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Gauthier S
      • Bullock R
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CV
      Efficacy of galantamine in probable vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease combined with cerebrovascular disease: a randomised trial.
      Of the 592 patients randomized (galantamine, n=396; placebo, n=196), approximately half were diagnosed as having AD plus CVD and half as having probable or possible VaD only. Two versions of the ADAS-cog were used, including a standard 11-item version (ADAS-cog/11) and a 13-item version also containing comprehension and concentration/distractibility (ADAS-cog/13). At the end of the 6-month, double-blind phase, galantamine-treated patients showed a significant improvement in cognitive function, as measured by both versions of the ADAS-cog, compared with baseline and placebo (P<.001).
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Gauthier S
      • Bullock R
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CV
      Efficacy of galantamine in probable vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease combined with cerebrovascular disease: a randomised trial.
      Significantly more galantamine-treated patients than placebo-treated patients also showed improvements in global function as assessed using the CIBIC-Plus (P=.001). However, subgroup analyses showed that differences on the ADAS-cog/11 and the CIBIC-Plus were not statistically significant for patients with VaD, and greater treatment differences were seen in the AD plus CVD subgroup, raising the possibility that some of the effects of galantamine in the whole study population resulted from improvements in the AD dementia component. Galantamine treatment was also associated with significant benefits on measures of ADL (Disability Assessment for Dementia, P=.002) and behavior (Neuropsychiatric Inventory, P=.16). Eight percent of patients given placebo and 20% of patients given galantamine discontinued participation in the study during the double-blind phase of the trial because of adverse events.
      After completion of the double-blind phase, 459 patients from both groups (galantamine, n=295; placebo, n=164) entered an OL galantamine treatment phase. After 6 months of OL treatment, initiation of galantamine treatment in the former placebo group raised their ADAS-cog/ 11 scores to baseline levels.
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Small GW
      • Bullock R
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CV
      • GAL-INT-6 Study Group
      An open-label extension trial of galantamine in patients with probable vascular dementia and mixed dementia [published correction appears in Clin Ther. 2003;25:2336].
      Scores for the continuous galantamine treatment group remained above baseline but were no longer significantly different from those for the former placebo group. The between-group difference in scores on the Disability Assessment for Dementia observed in the double-blind phase was preserved after 6 months of OL treatment,
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Small GW
      • Bullock R
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CV
      • GAL-INT-6 Study Group
      An open-label extension trial of galantamine in patients with probable vascular dementia and mixed dementia [published correction appears in Clin Ther. 2003;25:2336].
      whereas the difference on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory was no longer apparent. Subgroup analyses showed that scores on the ADAS-cog, which had remained at baseline in the former placebo group after 6 months of double-blind treatment, improved to similar levels above baseline at the end of 6 months of OL treatment.
      • Small G
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Lilienfeld S
      Galantamine in the treatment of cognitive decline in patients with vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease.
      In contrast, scores for the group with AD plus CVD, which had significantly declined with placebo treatment and improved with galantamine treatment, were at or below baseline levels at the end of the 6-month OL phase.
      These observations have been extended in another 12-month OL extension of the study (18 months total OL treatment).
      • Kurz AF
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Small GW
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CR
      Long-term safety and cognitive effects of galantamine in the treatment of probable vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease.
      Subanalyses of ADAS-cog scores again confirmed the greater extent of cognitive decline in the AD plus CVD group than in the VaD group, although treatment differences were no longer apparent 18 months after initiation of galantamine treatment in the former placebo group.
      Although that study suggests possible benefits of galantamine in VaD, the inclusion of patients with AD plus CVD excluded a prospective analysis of its effects in pure VaD. In fact, the differences found in the subanalyses clearly indicate the importance of distinguishing between these disorders. In addition, no subgroup analyses assessing the efficacy of galantamine on ADL and behavior in the VaD subgroup have yet been reported.

      RIVASTIGMINE

      Rivastigmine has been found to provide benefits in cognition, global functioning, and ADL in mild to moderate AD.
      • Rosler M
      • Anand R
      • Cicin-Sain A
      • et al.
      Efficacy and safety of rivastigmine in patients with Alzheimer's disease: international randomised controlled trial [published correction appears in BMJ. 2001;322:1456].
      • Farlow M
      • Potkin S
      • Koumaras B
      • Veach J
      • Mirski D
      Analysis of outcome in retrieved dropout patients in a rivastigmine vs placebo, 26-week, Alzheimer disease trial.
      Moretti et al
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      Rivastigmine in subcortical vascular dementia: a comparison trial on efficacy and tolerability for 12 months follow-up [letter].
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Griggio S
      • Bava A
      An open-label pilot study comparing rivastigmine and low-dose aspirin for the treatment of symptoms specific to patients with subcortical vascular dementia.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Bava A
      Rivastigmine in subcortical vascular dementia: an open 22-month study.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Bava A
      Rivastigmine in subcortical vascular dementia: a randomized, controlled, open 12-month study in 208 patients.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • et al.
      Rivastigmine superior to aspirin plus nimodipine in subcortical vascular dementia: an open, 16-month, comparative study.
      investigated the effects of rivastigmine in patients with subcortical VaD. A pilot study of 16 patients with subcortical VaD treated with either rivastigmine (3-6 mg/d; n=8) or low-dose aspirin (100 mg/d; n=8) for up to 22 months suggested that rivastigmine provides functional and behavioral benefits.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Griggio S
      • Bava A
      An open-label pilot study comparing rivastigmine and low-dose aspirin for the treatment of symptoms specific to patients with subcortical vascular dementia.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Bava A
      Rivastigmine in subcortical vascular dementia: an open 22-month study.
      Two larger studies have since reported results in 208 patients followed up for 12 months (rivastigmine vs aspi-rin
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Bava A
      Rivastigmine in subcortical vascular dementia: a randomized, controlled, open 12-month study in 208 patients.
      ) and in 64 patients followed up for 16 months (rivastigmine vs aspirin plus nimodipine
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • et al.
      Rivastigmine superior to aspirin plus nimodipine in subcortical vascular dementia: an open, 16-month, comparative study.
      ). Rivastigmine did not significantly attenuate the cognitive decline observed in the aspirin groups in either study.
      A battery of functional ability tests yielded mixed results. For example, rivastigmine-treated patients in both studies showed less deterioration on the Ten Point Clock Drawing test than patients receiving aspirin but no differences on the Phonological Fluency tests.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Bava A
      Rivastigmine in subcortical vascular dementia: a randomized, controlled, open 12-month study in 208 patients.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • et al.
      Rivastigmine superior to aspirin plus nimodipine in subcortical vascular dementia: an open, 16-month, comparative study.
      The rivastigmine-treated patients in the smaller study showed less deterioration in IADL than those receiving aspirin and nimodipine.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • et al.
      Rivastigmine superior to aspirin plus nimodipine in subcortical vascular dementia: an open, 16-month, comparative study.
      Behavioral measures, such as the Behavior Pathology in AD Rating scale,
      • Reisberg B
      • Borenstein J
      • Salob SP
      • Ferris SH
      • Franssen E
      • Georgotas A
      Behavioral symptoms in Alzheimer's disease: phenomenology and treatment.
      the Geriatric Depression Scale,
      • Yesavage JA
      • Brink TL
      • Rose TL
      • et al.
      Development and validation of a geriatric depression screening scale: a preliminary report.
      and the Ryden Aggression Scale,
      • Ryden MB
      Aggressive behavior in persons with dementia who live in the community.
      consistently showed improvements in rivastigmine-treated patients compared with declines for the control groups.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Bava A
      Rivastigmine in subcortical vascular dementia: a randomized, controlled, open 12-month study in 208 patients.
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • et al.
      Rivastigmine superior to aspirin plus nimodipine in subcortical vascular dementia: an open, 16-month, comparative study.
      In these studies, the use of rarely used tests and the omission of more widely accepted tests make it difficult to compare the relative effects of rivastigmine and other ChEIs or to compare the effects of rivastigmine in VaD vs AD. In addition, it is possible that some benefit was conferred by aspirin treatment, thus masking any differences that might have been apparent with a placebo group comparison. These studies were focused on subcortical VaD, and it is unknown whether rivastigmine might provide benefits for patients with cortical VaD, as have been included in trials with other agents.

      MEMANTINE

      Memantine is an N-methyl-d-aspartate antagonist that has been shown to slow clinical decline in moderate to severe AD,
      • Reisberg B
      • Doody R
      • Stöffler A
      • Schmitt F
      • Ferris S
      • Möbius HJ
      • Memantine Study Group
      Memantine in moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease.
      perhaps by inhibiting this glutamate receptor subtype in the brain. The efficacy of memantine, 10 mg/d, on global functioning and cognition was evaluated in a 28-week, randomized, double-blind study of 288 patients with probable VaD defined by the NINDS-AIREN criteria.
      • Orgogozo J-M
      • Rigaud A-S
      • Stöffler A
      • Möbius H-J
      • Forette F
      Efficacy and safety of memantine in patients with mild to moderate vascular dementia: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial (MMM 300).
      Although statistically significant drug-placebo differences were not observed for global functioning (CIBIC-Plus scores), differences that favored memantine were observed on the ADAS-cog (P=.002). The effects of memantine on ADAS-cog scores were found to be more pronounced in the more severely afflicted patients. In AD, this may be analogous to the effects of memantine, which is approved for moderate to severe disease but for which no data have been published on milder AD.
      Among secondary end points, only the Mini-Mental State Examination showed statistically significant improvement for the memantine group compared with the placebo group. Scores on global assessments, including the Clinical Global Impression of Change and Gottfries-Brane-Steen
      • Gottfries CG
      • Brane G
      • Gullberg B
      • Steen G
      A new rating scale for dementia syndromes.
      scales, were not different. Scores for the Nurses Observation Scale for Geriatric Patients,
      • Spiegel R
      • Brunner C
      • Ermini-Fünfschilling D
      • et al.
      A new behavioral assessment scale for geriatric out- and in-patients: the NOSGER (Nurses' Observation Scale for Geriatric Patients).
      an instrument that measures memory, IADL, self-care, mood, social behavior, and disturbing behavior ratings, also showed no difference between groups.
      In a separate 28-week study that involved 579 patients,
      • Wilcock G
      • Möbius HJ
      • Stöffler A
      • MMM 500 group
      A double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre study of memantine in mild to moderate vascular dementia (MMM500).
      differences favoring memantine were also found on the ADAS-cog, whereas no difference was found on the Clinical Global Impression of Change scale. No significant differences between groups were found on the Gottfries-Brane-Steen scale or the Nurses Observation Scale for Geriatric Patients, although a difference favoring memantine was found on the memory component of the Nurses Observation Scale for Geriatric Patients. Memantine was well tolerated in both studies, with a frequency of adverse events similar to that associated with placebo.

      CONCLUSION

      Despite being the second most common form of dementia after AD, with which it shares important pathologic features and symptoms, VaD frequently goes undiagnosed. Although no treatments are currently licensed for the symptomatic treatment of VaD, various antidementia drugs used to treat the symptoms of AD have been evaluated in VaD. The class of agents for which the best evidence exists for therapeutic efficacy is the ChEIs, which target the underlying cholinergic deficit that has been found to be as prominent in VaD as in AD. Donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine are ChEIs that have been investigated in patients with VaD or in those with AD and features of VaD. Memantine has also been investigated in patients with VaD, with demonstrated improvement in cognition and no deterioration in global functioning and behavior. Direct comparison of treatment efficacy is not possible because of the different patient populations and different outcome measures in these studies. (See Table 4 for a listing of the most relevant articles.) Of these potential drugs, donepezil has the most compelling efficacy data for ChEI-based treatment in VaD. Studies have demonstrated donepezil's efficacy in improving cognition and global function as well as ADL in patients with pure VaD. Overall, ChEIs appear to be well tolerated in patients with VaD, an important factor for these patients who are often frail and usually require concomitant medications. Although more studies are needed to further define the role of ChEIs in treating symptoms of VaD in patients who meet NINDS/AIREN criteria, it is clear that strategies for prevention should include targeting underlying CVD risk factors.
      TABLE 4Double-Blind Trials of Cholinesterase Inhibitors in Vascular Dementia
      ReferenceTrial
      With donepezil
      Black et al,
      • Black S
      • Román GC
      • Geldmacher DS
      • Donepezil 307 Vascular Dementia Study Group
      • et al.
      Efficacy and tolerability of donepezil in vascular dementia: positive results of a 24-week, multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
      2003
      Efficacy and tolerability of donepezil in vascular dementia: positive results of a 24-week, multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial
      Goldsmith & Scott,
      • Goldsmith DR
      • Scott LJ
      Donepezil: in vascular dementia.
      2003
      Donepezil: in vascular dementia
      Johnson,
      • Johnson KD
      Donepezil minimally effective for patients with vascular dementia.
      2004
      Donepezil minimally effective for patients with vascular dementia
      Malouf&Birks,
      • Malouf R
      • Birks J
      Donepezil for vascular cognitive impairment?.
      2004
      Donepezil for vascular cognitive impairment
      Mobius et al,
      • Mobius HJ
      • Stoffler A
      • Graham SM
      Memantine hydrochloride: pharmacological and clinical profile.
      2004
      Memantine hydrochloride: pharmacological and clinical profile
      Olsen et al,
      • Olsen CE
      • Poulsen HD
      • Lublin HK
      Drug therapy of dementia in elderly patients: a review.
      2005
      Drug therapy of dementia in elderly patients: a review
      Pratt,
      • Pratt RD
      Patient populations in clinical studies of donepezil in vascular dementia.
      2003
      Patient populations in clinical studies of donepezil in vascular dementia
      Pratt,
      • Pratt RD
      Patient populations in clinical trials of the efficacy and tolerability of donepezil in patients with vascular dementia.
      2002
      Patient populations in clinical trials of the efficacy and tolerability of donepezil in patients with vascular dementia
      Roman et al,
      • Roman GC
      • Wilkinson DG
      • Doody RS
      • Black SE
      • Salloway SP
      • Schindler RJ
      Donepezil in vascular dementia: combined analysis of two large-scale clinical trials.
      2005
      Donepezil in vascular dementia: combined analysis of two large-scale clinical trials
      Rossom et al,
      • Rossom R
      • Adityanjee
      • Dysken M
      Efficacy and tolerability of memantine in the treatment of dementia.
      2004
      Efficacy and tolerability of memantine in the treatment of dementia
      Doody,
      • Doody RS
      Update on Alzheimer drugs (donepezil).
      • Bullock R
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Lilienfeld S
      • GAL-INT-6 Study Group
      Management of patients with Alzheimer's disease plus cerebrovascular disease: 12-month treatment with galantamine.
      2003
      Update on Alzheimer drugs (donepezil)
      Wilkinson et al,
      • Wilkinson D
      • Doody R
      • Helme R
      • Donepezil 308 Study Group
      • et al.
      Donepezil in vascular dementia: a randomized, placebo-controlled study.
      2003
      Donepezil in vascular dementia: a randomized, placebo-controlled study
      With galantamine
      Bullock et al,™ 2004Management of patients with Alzheimer's disease plus cerebrovascular disease: 12-month treatment with galantamine
      Bullock,
      • Bullock R
      Galantamine: use in Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.
      2004
      Galantamine: use in Alzheimer's disease and related disorders
      Craig & Birks,
      • Craig D
      • Birks J
      Galantamine for vascular cognitive impairment?.
      2006
      Galantamine for vascular cognitive impairment
      Erkinjuntti et al,
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Small GW
      • Bullock R
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CV
      • GAL-INT-6 Study Group
      An open-label extension trial of galantamine in patients with probable vascular dementia and mixed dementia [published correction appears in Clin Ther. 2003;25:2336].
      2003
      An open-label extension trial of galantamine in patients with probable vascular dementia and mixed dementia
      Erkinjuntti et al,
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Gauthier S
      • Bullock R
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CV
      Efficacy of galantamine in probable vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease combined with cerebrovascular disease: a randomised trial.
      2002
      Efficacy of galantamine in probable vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease combined with cerebrovascular disease: a randomised trial
      Kertesz,
      • Kertesz A
      Efficacy of galantamine in probable vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease combined with cerebrovascular disease: a randomized trial.
      2002
      Efficacy of galantamine in probable vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease combined with cerebrovascular disease: a randomized trial
      Kurz,
      • Kurz A
      Non-cognitive benefits of galantamine (Reminyl) treatment in vascular dementia.
      2002
      Non-cognitive benefits of galantamine (Reminyl) treatment in vascular dementia
      Kurz et al,
      • Kurz AF
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Small GW
      • Lilienfeld S
      • Damaraju CR
      Long-term safety and cognitive effects of galantamine in the treatment of probable vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease.
      2003
      Long-term safety and cognitive effects of galantamine in the treatment of probable vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease
      Marder,
      • Marder K
      Efficacy of galantamine in probable vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease combined with cerebrovascular disease: a randomized trial [editorial].
      2002
      Efficacy of galantamine in probable vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease combined with cerebrovascular disease: a randomized trial
      Olsen et al,
      • Olsen CE
      • Poulsen HD
      • Lublin HK
      Drug therapy of dementia in elderly patients: a review.
      2005
      Drug therapy of dementia in elderly patients: a review
      Small et al,
      • Small G
      • Erkinjuntti T
      • Kurz A
      • Lilienfeld S
      Galantamine in the treatment of cognitive decline in patients with vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease.
      2003
      Galantamine in the treatment of cognitive decline in patients with vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease
      With rivastigmine
      Craig & Birks,
      • Craig D
      • Birks J
      Rivastigmine for vascular cognitive impairment.
      2005
      Rivastigmine for vascular cognitive impairment
      Moretti et al,
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Bava A
      Rivastigmine in vascular dementia.
      2004
      Rivastigmine in vascular dementia
      Moretti et al,
      • Moretti R
      • Torre P
      • Antonello RM
      • Cazzato G
      • Bava A
      Rivastigmine in subcortical vascular dementia: an open 22-month study.
      2002
      Rivastigmine in subcortical vascular dementia: an open 22-month study
      Roman,
      • Roman GC
      Rivastigmine for subcortical vascular dementia.
      2005
      Rivastigmine for subcortical vascular dementia
      Vincent & Lane,
      • Vincent S
      • Lane R
      Rivastigmine in vascular dementia.
      2003
      Rivastigmine in vascular dementia
      Wezenberg et al,
      • Wezenberg E
      • Verkes RJ
      • Sabbe BG
      • Ruigt GS
      • Hulstijn W
      Modulation of memory and visuospatial processes by biperiden and rivastigmine in elderly healthy subjects.
      2005
      Modulation of memory and visuospatial processes by biperiden and rivastigmine in elderly healthy subjects

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