This study will evaluate the effectiveness of treatment with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in improving cognitive function and overall rehabilitation in elderly stroke survivors.
Cognitive impairment is a common result of a stroke and can be detrimental to recovery. It can negatively affect both mental and physical functioning, thereby complicating the rehabilitation process. Although much research has targeted the effects of long-term cognitive impairment after a stroke, very little research has been done to examine the incidence and course of cognitive impairment during the first three months following a stroke. These first three months are the most important in terms of regaining function. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors have been beneficial to both sufferers of vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. They may also be a useful pharmacologic intervention to enhance post-stroke rehabilitation. This study will compare the effectiveness of two acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, galantamine and donepezil, in improving cognitive function and overall rehabilitation in elderly stroke survivors.
Participants in this open label study will be randomly assigned to receive either galantamine or donepezil for 12 weeks. Participants assigned to receive galantamine will receive 4 mg twice a day for 4 weeks, 8 mg twice a day for the next 4 weeks, and 12 mg twice a day for the remainder of the study. Participants assigned to receive donepezil will receive 5 mg twice a day for 6 weeks, and then 10 mg twice a day for the next 6 weeks. Functional independence will be measured at baseline and Weeks 2 and 12. In addition, a pre-stroke level of functional independence will be obtained through a structured interview with participants and their families. Participants will also be monitored for signs of depression and medication side effects throughout the study.
- Allocation: Non-Randomized
- Masking: Open Label
- Purpose: Treatment
- Endpoint: Safety/Efficacy Study
- Intervention: Single Group Assignment
|Type||Measure||Time Frame||Safety Issue|
|Primary||Cognitive and physical function (measured by the Functional Independence Measure and the Apathy Evaluation Scale at Week 12)|
|Secondary||Medication tolerability (measured throughout the study)|