Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that combats progressive functional deterioration can improve the patient’s quality of life and reduce caregiver burden. Memantine, a moderate affinity N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, reduces global deterioration in AD patients and provides cognitive and functional benefits relative to placebo. Two previous studies reported statistically significant benefits of memantine for overall functional ability on the Alzheimer Disease Cooperative Study Activities of Daily Living Inventory modified for severe dementia (ADCS-ADL19), Functional Assessment Staging, and G2 scale. The present study reports a single-item analysis of the ADL scales from the two trials and shows that patients treated with memantine demonstrated a numerical advantage over placebo on all items assessed. These results help to translate the positive effects of memantine into specific aspects of functional ability, information that is relevant to AD patients and their families as well as to researchers interested in the assessment of functional ability in AD clinical trials.
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