Lenze EJ et al. – Memantine was not associated with superior affective or functional outcome compared with placebo in medically rehabilitating older adults with depressive and apathy symptoms.Methods
- The authors recruited subjects aged 60 years and older who had recently suffered a disabling medical event and were admitted to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation.
- Participants with significant depressive symptoms, defined as a Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression score of 10 or greater, and/or significant apathy symptoms, defined as an Apathy Evaluation Scale score of 40 or greater, were randomized to memantine (10 mg/d for 1 week, then 10 mg twice daily) or placebo, for 12 weeks.
- The authors also recruited participants without depressive or apathy symptoms for naturalistic follow-up as a non-depressed comparison group.
- Depressive and apathy symptoms were main outcomes; functional recovery, and self-report rating of helplessness, and onset of new depressive disorders were secondary outcomes.
- Thirty-five older adults with significant depressive and/or apathy symptoms were randomized, of whom 27 (77.1%) completed the 12 week randomized controlled trial.
- Both groups showed reduction in depressive symptoms (but no significant reduction in apathy symptoms) and improved function.
- However, there were no group differences between the memantine-randomized and placebo randomized participants on any outcome.