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Patricio Reyes M.D.
Director, Traumatic Brain Injury, Alzheimer's Disease & Cognitive Disorders Clinics; Phoenix, AZ; Chief Medical Officer, Retired NFL Players Association

Barrow Neurological Institute

St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

 

Combining care program with drug reduces damaging effects of Alzheimer's disease
























Image Source: BRIDGEHOUSEABINGDON

Combining a specific care management program with a commonly-prescribed drug for Alzheimer's disease multiplies the medication's ability to improve daily function by about 7.5 times, stalling some of the disease's most damaging effects.

These are the findings from a randomized trial developed at NYU Langone Medical Center and presented Sunday July 16 at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2017 in London.

"Alzheimer's and dementia clinicians have known for some time that medication alone is not enough to stop disease progression," says research principal investigator Barry Reisberg, MD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher Alzheimer Disease Education and Resources program at NYU Langone. "Our new research shows that a comprehensive, patient-centered care program brings significant benefits in daily activities, which are important to individuals with Alzheimer's and those who care for and about them."

The new study measured the added therapeutic benefits in patients taking memantine of also placing them in the Comprehensive, Individualized, Person-Centered Management program (CI-PCM). This system of care includes caregiver training, residence assessment, therapeutic home visits, and caregiver support groups, all developed and conducted by study co-investigator Sunnie Kenowsky, DVM, co-director of the Fisher Alzheimer's Disease Program and clinical instructor of Psychiatry at NYU Langone.

In a 28-week, blinded, randomized controlled trial, 10 patient-caregiver groups enrolled in the CI-PCM were compared against 10 pairs receiving standard community care, which included a clinic visit, referrals to resources for caregiver training, care counseling, physical, speech and occupational therapy, medic-alert bracelets training, day care centers and support group programs. All patients were taking memantine.

The two groups were compared at the end of 28 weeks using a recognized tool called Functional Assessment Staging (FAST), which measures losses in the ability of a person to independently carry out daily activities, such as dressing, bathing, and toileting. The medication plus CI-PCM patient group tested 7.5 times - or 750 percent - higher than the medication-only group measured in the original 2003 study.

Combining a specific care management program with a commonly-prescribed drug for Alzheimer's disease multiplies the medication's ability to improve daily function by about 7.5 times, stalling some of the disease's most damaging effects.

These are the findings from a randomized trial developed at NYU Langone Medical Center and presented Sunday July 16 at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2017 in London.

"Alzheimer's and dementia clinicians have known for some time that medication alone is not enough to stop disease progression," says research principal investigator Barry Reisberg, MD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher Alzheimer Disease Education and Resources program at NYU Langone. "Our new research shows that a comprehensive, patient-centered care program brings significant benefits in daily activities, which are important to individuals with Alzheimer's and those who care for and about them."

The new study measured the added therapeutic benefits in patients taking memantine of also placing them in the Comprehensive, Individualized, Person-Centered Management program (CI-PCM). This system of care includes caregiver training, residence assessment, therapeutic home visits, and caregiver support groups, all developed and conducted by study co-investigator Sunnie Kenowsky, DVM, co-director of the Fisher Alzheimer's Disease Program and clinical instructor of Psychiatry at NYU Langone.

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