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Interest in vascular causes for cognitive impairment is increasing, in recognition that such causes are common, and possibly preventable. This has led to attempts to better define vascular dementia and its natural history. Several sets of criteria for the diagnosis of vascular dementia have been proposed. We provide a brief overview of the background to the initiation of a Canadian consensus conference, established by the Consortium of Canadian Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research (C5R) and report the conclusions reached at that conference. To date, no one set of criteria is demonstrably superior to another; we have therefore not endorsed any of the competing sets, nor have we recommended our own. Instead we suggest that empiric studies are required to establish valid criteria. A diagnostic checklist, which combines existing criteria and additional data, is attached for clinicians wishing to participate in such studies.
We tested the efficacy and safety of linopirdine, a novel phenylindolinone, in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
A multicentre, randomized, double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled trial of linopirdine (30 mg three times per day or placebo). Patients (n = 382, 55% male, 98% Caucasian, age range 51-95 years) with mild or moderate Alzheimer's disease, of whom 375 received at least one treatment dose were analysed. There were no important differences between the groups at baseline.
No difference was seen in Clinical Global Impression scores between patients receiving placebo and those receiving linopirdine (n = 189). Small differences in the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog) scores were seen throughout the study favouring linopirdine; at 6 months the ADAS-Cog scores were 20.2 (linopirdine) and 22.1 (placebo) p = 0.01.
This trial did not detect clinically meaningful differences in patients receiving linopirdine for 6 months, despite evidence of a small degree of improved cognitive function. Further studies may benefit from more sensitive tests of treatment effects in Alzheimer's disease.
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