Memantine enhances language and communication skills in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a valuable contribution for patient independence and quality of life for both the patient and the family/caregivers. These are the findings discussed at the 14th Congress of the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS).
The data of a pooled analysis of six large, randomized clinical studies support that AXURA®/AKATINOL® – an uncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist – effects language skills in AD patients and improves cognitive abilities and functional communication. Leading neurologists emphasize that improvement of language and communication skills is a meaningful treatment target. Furthermore, 36% of caregivers consider communication to be the most troublesome aspect of AD.
Communication is much more than the mere exchange of information. Communication allows us to share ideas, express emotions, and send and receive messages. It's a verbal or nonverbal way of relating to another, a representation of who we are as human beings, and a reflection of feelings and thoughts through words, attitude, facial expressions, tone of voice, and/or body language. Language impairment is one of the most troublesome manifestations of AD. In AD, communication problems revolve around language issues. On the occasion of a Merz satellite symposium held at the EFNS new data has shown that impairments in language/communication can reduce patient independence and autonomy, in addition to compromising quality of life.(1) Therefore, it is important that the treatment of language and communication problems is regarded as an integral part of AD management.
Memantine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe AD, has shown to provide benefits in language and communication skills. In a pooled analysis of six large, randomized clinical studies, Memantine was superior to placebo and associated with significantly more responders, and fewer worsening patients, in the cognitive clusters of language, memory and praxis.(2) Further, in a 24-week randomized study patients taking Memantine (+ Donepezil) did significantly better than patients receiving placebo (+ Donepezil) on the "naming" subscale and the "functional communication" score.(3) These findings suggest, that AD treatment with Memantine has shown significant effects on aspects of language and functional communication. Such benefits could have a beneficial impact on the daily lives of patients with AD, their families and caregivers. The conclusion of the symposium was: Improving and preserving language and communication skills in patients with AD is a meaningful treatment target that can facilitate social interaction.
AXURA®/AKATINOL® has proven to be a safe and tolerable treatment option with a strong impact on functional communication in Alzheimer’s patients. Improved communication skills in AD patients may reduce stress for patients and caregivers and keep them longer connected.