Sunday, June 17, 2012

Promising Drug for Lewy Body Dementia in Trials

The Lewy Body Dementia Association just posted an article about a promising treatment for Lewy Body Dementia.

But let me take a moment to ask you: Do you ever read articles like this and think to yourself that even if the damn drug works it will not reach the Market in time for your family? Well why wait? Why not get personally involved in a drug trial? The risk verses rewards is in your favor…your parent or spouse is not going to get better, but a drug trial may have benefits, possibly tremendous ones! There is always a risk of a medical complication, but even if the trial does not work for you, you have played your part in finding an eventual cure.

Here in Southern California, a wonderfully run small firm PRI (Pharmaceutical Research Institute) did the initial research that brought Aricept and Namenda to market. They were not the only one, those very common medications were once part of a trial and were tested in research centers all over the Country. My experiences is these centers are ALWAYS looking for volunteers. (if you want help finding a drug trial or have questions about it…post a comment or write me directly)

Not only are you giving your loved one a fighting chance, most companies offer financial compensation for time, give great medical attention, and offer tremendous support for caregivers.

Open Label Trial of Armodafinil Shows Promise in LBD

June 12, 2012 – At the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in April, researchers from the Mayo Clinic reported on a small clinical trial which assessed the safety, tolerability and efficacy of armodafinil therapy for excessive sleepiness (hypersomnia) associated with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

Twenty subjects were enrolled in this open label trial, with three people who did not complete the trial due to worsening disease or death from community-acquired pneumonia. Individuals in the study had mild to moderate dementia and were already being treated with medications routine in DLB clinical care for dementia, behavior, sleep and movement symptoms. Individuals were treated for 30 days with 150 mg armodafinil to set up safety and tolerability and were increased to 250 mg for an additional 60 days.

Mild to marked clinical improvement was observed in 90% of participants, with moderate to marked improvement seen in 45% of participants. Improved caregiver quality of life was reported as well. “The majority of patients experienced some degree of improvement in key features associated with DLB, and most tolerated the medication without significant side-effects,” said Dr. Brad Boeve who directed the trial. “Yet some patients continued to experience significant daytime sleepiness and other problematic DLB features. This medication should obviously not be considered a cure for DLB, but it is another option for clinicians and patients to consider as they work together in treating bothersome symptoms associated with DLB – particularly excessive daytime sleepiness.” Significant improvement over baseline was reported in the ability to maintain wakefulness, and significant improvement was reported in apathy and improvement occurred in visual hallucinations, delusions and anxiety, with the exception of the 3 individuals who discontinued participation.

This data suggests treatment with armodafinil offers reasonable safety, tolerability and improvements over baseline in excessive sleepiness in individuals with DLB, and may reduce neuropsychiatric features as well.

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