Rotigotine, a dopaminergic agonist, may be useful to improve cognitive functions and activities of daily living in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a phase 2 clinical trial reported in JAMA Network Open.
Participants with mild to moderate AD (n=94) were randomised to receive a rotigotine 2 mg transdermal patch for one week followed by a 4 mg patch for 23 weeks (n=47) or a placebo transdermal patch for 24 weeks (n=47).
The primary endpoint was a change at 24 weeks from baseline on the Alzheimer's disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog-11).
By 24 weeks rotigotine had no significant effect on the primary endpoint when compared with placebo, thus showing no effects on memory and other cognitive tasks.
The secondary endpoints were change at 24 weeks from baseline on the Activities of Daily Living (ADCS-ADL), the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). There were significant estimated mean changes between groups for ADCS-ADL and for FAB, but the NPI scores showed no longitudinal change.
These findings suggest that treatment with rotigotine may have a potential effect in reducing symptoms associated with frontal lobe cognitive dysfunction and in delaying the impairment of activities of daily living.