Background/objective: To assess associations between improvements in neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) and neurocognitive change in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) during treatment using the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness-Alzheimer Disease (CATIE-AD) dataset.
Methods: AD outpatients with NPS who needed pharmacological treatment (n = 421) were followed up with antipsychotics, citalopram, or placebo for up to 36 weeks (mean±SD = 252±52 days). The study aim was to investigate associations between improvement in each NPS evaluating scale (by Clinical Global Impression of Change [CGI-C], Neuropsychiatric Inventory [NPI], or Brief Psychiatric Scale [BPRS]) at endpoint (week 36 or early termination [ET], n = 340) and neurocognitive change (change score in the Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE] between endpoint and baseline during the treatment). Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed on the associations between each NPS improvement and neurocognitive change as well as socio-clinico-demographic variables of interest.
Results: At endpoint, NPS improvement rates were 76.1%, 70.8%, and 58.1% in CGI-C, NPI, and BPRS, respectively, while MMSE score change was -2.3±3.8. NPS improvement was significantly related to more severe psychotic symptoms at baseline and preserved levels of neurocognition (smaller MMSE score change) among several variables.
Conclusions: Our findings suggested that neurocognitive preservation may be associated with attaining optimal benefits from any treatment against NPSs in a longitudinal treatment course of patients with AD.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; CATIE-AD; antipsychotic; neurocognitive impairment; neuropsychiatric symptom.