Lipitor, Aricept combination shows no significant slow in Alzheimer’s progression

4/18/2008

NEW YORK According to a new study on patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease, adding Lipitor 80 mg to the Alzheimer’s drug Aricept 10 mg did not show any significant differences in key measures of Alzheimer’s progression, including cognition or global function, compared with a placebo plus Aricept.

The 18-month study, called Lipitor’s Effect on Alzheimer’s Dementia, included 640 patients and is the largest statin study in Alzheimer’s disease. The results were presented this week at the annual American Academy of Neurology meeting.

While rates of decline in cognition and global function were similar for both the Lipitor and placebo groups, there were some interesting findings from the trial:

In a subset of 64 patients for whom MRI scans were available, patients in the Lipitor group had significantly less decline in hippocampal volume in the brain compared with the placebo group. While the significance of this result is not yet fully understood, less of a decline in hippocampal volume may be beneficial because declines have been associated with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

In a sub-analysis completed after the trial, men in the Lipitor group had a significantly slower rate of decline in cognition compared with men in the placebo group. There was no difference in the rate of decline in cognition in women in the Lipitor group compared with women in the placebo group.

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