Objective To investigate whether increasing plasma donepezil concentration further improves cognitive function and neuropsychiatric symptoms without compromising safety in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Methods We analyzed data from a 12-week phase 3 trial of donepezil (5 and 10 mg/day) in patients with DLB. The contribution of factors affecting plasma donepezil concentration was evaluated using multivariate regression analysis. The relationships between plasma donepezil concentration and efficacy (cognitive function as measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE], hallucinations and cognitive fluctuation), or safety (blood pressure, pulse rate, body weight, and parkinsonism as measured by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III) were assessed by scatterplots and Pearson correlation. Results The data of 87 patients were used in the analyses. Plasma donepezil concentration increased proportionally with increasing dose from 5 to 10 mg/day. The dose (contribution rate: 0.39, p < 0.0001) and age (contribution rate: 0.12, p = 0.0003) were statistically significant contributing factors affecting plasma donepezil concentration. Plasma donepezil concentration correlated significantly with improvement of MMSE score (p = 0.040), but no significant correlations were found with the change in other tested parameters. Conclusions Plasma donepezil concentration correlated positively with change in cognitive function without affecting safety, and was affected mainly by dose and to a lesser extent by age. Therefore, for patients in whom safety concerns are not found at donepezil 5 mg/day, increasing the dose to 10 mg/day to increase plasma concentration is worthwhile to further improve cognitive function.
- Dementia with Lewy bodies
- Mini-Mental State Examination
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology