Newly released findings from Phase 3 trials conducted by Eli and Lily Company researchers, show that treating cognitive dysfunction in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease also impacts the patient’s functional deficits. The study further found that patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease demonstrate cognitive defects more often than functional deficits, when measured against two leading Alzheimer’s disease assessment scales, and these functional deficits are a direct result of the cognitive disorders. The Phase 3 trial findings were recently published in the December 2, 2014 issues of Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Researchers utilized the Alzheimer’s disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Scales and the Alzheimer’s Scale-Cognitive to arrive at their conclusions. The measurements showed that this connection between cognition and function increases over the life of the patient. Impairment of iADL—instrumental activities of daily life precedes impairment in bADL—basic activities of daily life as Alzheimer’s disease progresses in the patient. The research findings were in line with previous studies that found that Alzheimer’s patients experience a steady decline in their ability to function due to the gradual deterioration of their cognitive functioning abilities.
The findings pooled research data from two Phase 3 trials—Expedition and Expedition 2—which were investigating a drug treatment on cognition and function in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease. The data proved that any positive effect on function was due only to the treatment of cognition. In fact, the drug treatment directly impacted cognition in 87% of the cases, whereas in only 13% of cases did it directly affect the patient’s function.
Dr. Hong Liu-Seifert, research advisor, stresses that the importance of the research findings is confirmation that Alzheimer’s disease is a cognitive disease and that functional deficits are a result of the patient’s cognitive deficits. This confirmation is important to the continued development of drug treatments which, he suggests, must be focused on improving cognitive functioning.
Brought to you by Dr. Michael Mullan, CEO of Roaskamp institute, in his work Dr. Mullan researches Alzheimer's disease