Clinical global measures of dementia: Position paper from the International Working Group on Harmonization of Dementia Drug Guidelines

B. Reisberg, L. Schneider, R. Doody, R. Anand, H. Feldman, H. Haraguchi, R. Kumar, U. Lucca, C. A. Mangone, E. Mohr, J. C. Morris, U. S. Rogers, T. Sawada

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Following is the report of the committee working on clinical global measures for antidementia drug guidelines. The concepts involved in global scales, the distinctions between change and severity scales, advantages and disadvantages of structured interviews, and anchoring of change scores are discussed, and selected existing clinical global scales are described. In addition, the committee assessed the utility of global scales in clinical trials for antidementia drugs. There was a consensus among the members of the working group on the following: (1) Clinical global scales are interview based; in most cases, they include information obtained from caregivers as well as directly from patients, but they can rely on information from the subject only. (2) Clinicians' global ratings are intended to assess clinically meaningful change based on multidimensional clinical assessment and take into account the clinical heterogeneity of dementia by assessing at least cognition, behavior, and functioning. (3) There are two distinct types of clinical global measures: (a) clinicians' interview-based global severity scales, which generally incorporate classification by stage or severity of illness and (b) clinicians' interview-based global change scales, which incorporate global assessment ratings of clinical change. The committee could not reach a consensus on whether global scales should be required in phase II and phase III clinical trials, or whether other specific assessments such as well-designed activities of daily living, cognition, and behavior measures could, when used in appropriate combinations, replace the global as assessments of clinical meaningfulness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-18
Number of pages11
JournalAlzheimer disease and associated disorders
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - 1997


  • Assessment
  • Clinical measures
  • Dementia severity
  • Global scales


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