Long-term tacrine (Cognex) treatment: Effects on nursing home placement and mortality

D. Knopman, L. Schneider, K. Davis, S. Talwalker, F. Smith, T. Hoover, S. Gracon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

330 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the possible association between tacrine (Cognex, manufactured by Parke-Davis, Morris Plains, NJ) dose and likelihood of nursing home placement (NHP) or death in patients with AD. Design: A 30- week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group multicenter clinical trial involving 663 patients, after which patients were treated openly and followed up a minimum of 2 years later. Patients: At baseline, outpatients were at least 50 years of age, met criteria for probable AD, with baseline Mini-Mental State Examination scores between 10 and 26 (inclusive), were otherwise healthy, and had a caregiver who could provide assessments and ensure medication compliance. Interventions: Randomized assignment to placebo or one of three ascending dosage regimens of tacrine over 30 weeks, followed by open label treatment for all patients who began the double-blind trial. Outcome Measures: NHP and death were examined using logistic regression. Results: Patients who remained on tacrine and were receiving doses > 80 mg/d or > 120 mg/d were less likely to have entered a nursing home than patients on lower doses (odds ratios > 2.7, 2.8, respectively.) There was a trend for lower mortality for patients receiving > 120 mg/d (p = 0.063). Conclusions: Treatment with tacrine at doses > 80 mg/d was associated with a reduced likelihood of NHP. These data demonstrate that tacrine's 30-week effects on cognitive function and clinicians' global ratings may generalize to effects on a major milestone of AD. Future studies should attempt to replicate these findings prospectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-177
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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