To test the efficacy and safety of leuprolide acetate (Lupron Depot®) in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD), we conducted a 48-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging study in women aged 65 years or older with mild to moderate AD. A total of 109 women with mild to moderate AD and a Mini-Mental State Examination score between 12 and 24 inclusive were randomized to low dose Lupron Depot® (11.25 mg leuprolide acetate), high dose Lupron Depot® (22.5 mg leuprolide acetate), or placebo injections every 12 weeks. There were no statistically significant differences in primary efficacy parameters (ADAS-Cog and ADCS-CGIC), although there was a non-statistically significant trend in favor of the high dose Lupron group on the ADAS-Cog. There were no statistically significant differences in secondary efficacy parameters (NPI, ADCS-ADL, BI, and ADCS-Severity Rating). However, in the a priori designated subgroup analysis of patients taking an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI), there was a statistically significant benefit in the high dose group compared to both the low dose and placebo groups as determined by ADAS-Cog (mean decline: 0.18, 4.21, and 3.30), ADCS-CGIC (% subjects experiencing decline: 38, 82, and 63), and ADCS-ADL (mean decline: -0.54, -8.00, and -6.85), respectively. No differences between treatment groups were seen on the NPI, ADCS-CGI Severity Rating, or the BI in the subgroup analysis. These data indicate that cognitive function is preserved in patients treated with high dose Lupron who were already using AChEIs. The positive interaction between Lupron and AChEIs warrants further investigation for the treatment of AD.
- Alzheimer's disease
- acetylcholinesterase inhibitor
- apolipoprotein E
- clinical trial
- cognitive testing
- gonadotropin-releasing hormone
- luteinizing hormone