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Analyzing the impact of 23 mg/day donepezil on language dysfunction in moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease

DOI: 10.1186/alzrt84

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In the original randomized, double-blind clinical trial, 1,467 patients with moderate to severe AD (baseline Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score 0 to 20) were randomized 2:1 to receive donepezil 23 mg/day or to continue on donepezil 10 mg/day for 24 weeks. In this post hoc analysis, the Severe Impairment Battery-Language scale (SIB-L) and a new 21-item SIB-derived language scale (SIB[lang]) were used to explore differences in language function between the treatment groups. Correlations between SIB-L and SIB[lang] scores and scores on the severe version of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living inventory (ADCS-ADL-sev), the Clinician's Interview-Based Impression of Severity-plus caregiver input/Clinician's Interview-Based Impression of Change-plus caregiver input (CIBIS-plus/CIBIC-plus) and the MMSE were also investigated.At week 24, treatment with donepezil 23 mg/day was associated with an improvement in language in the full intention-to-treat population, whereas language function declined in the group treated with donepezil 10 mg/day (SIB-L treatment difference 0.8, P = 0.0013; SIB[lang] treatment difference 0.8, P = 0.0009). Similar results were observed in a cohort of patients with more severe baseline disease (MMSE score 0 to 16). At baseline and week 24, correlations between the SIB-derived language scales and the ADCS-ADL-sev and CIBIC-plus were moderate, but the correlations were stronger between the language scales and the MMSE scores.Patients with moderate to severe AD receiving donepezil 23 mg/day showed greater language benefits than those receiving donepezil 10 mg/day as measured by SIB-derived language assessments. Increasing the dose of donepezil to 23 mg/day may provide language benefits in patients with moderate to severe AD, for whom preservation of language abilities is especially critical.ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00478205An estimated 5.1 million Americans over 65 years of age have Alzheimer's disease (

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