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Strategies for Continued Successful Treatment in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease: An Overview of Switching Between Pharmacological Agents

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 10 ]


Rafael Blesa, Kazuhiro Toriyama*, Kengo Ueda, Sean Knox and George Grossberg   Pages 964 - 974 ( 11 )


Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, characterized by a progressive decline in cognition and function. Current treatment options for AD include the cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine, as well as the N-methyl-Daspartate receptor antagonist memantine. Treatment guidelines recommend the use of ChEIs as the standard of care first-line therapy. Several randomized clinical studies have demonstrated the benefits of ChEIs on cognition, global function, behavior and activities of daily living. However, patients may fail to achieve sustained clinical benefits from ChEIs due to lack/loss of efficacy and/or safety, tolerability issues, and poor adherence to the treatment. The purpose of this review is to explore the strategies for continued successful treatment in patients with AD.

Methods: Literature search was performed for articles published in PubMed and MEDLINE, using prespecified search terms. Articles were critically evaluated for inclusion based on their titles, abstracts, and full text of the publication.

Results and Conclusion: The findings of this review indicate that dose up-titration and switching between ChEIs may help to improve response to ChEI treatment and also address issues such as lack/loss of efficacy or safety/tolerability in patients with AD. However, well-designed studies are needed to provide robust evidence.


Alzheimer's disease, switching, AD treatment, cholinesterase inhibitors, dementia, adherence.


Memory Unit, Department of Neurology, IIB Sant Pau, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Novartis Pharma K.K., Tokyo, Novartis Pharma K.K., Tokyo, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

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