Introduction: This multicentre, randomised, open-label, and prospective study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of memantine (memantine solution) on speech function in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease (AD) who were already on donepezil therapy. Methods: Participants were divided into two groups: the drug trial group was administered donepezil + memantine (memantine solution), while the control group was administered only donepezil. Patients in the test group were required to increase the dose of memantine by 5 mg/day per week for the first 4 weeks and were maintained at 20 mg/day until the end of the trial. Results: Of the 188 participants, 24 dropped out, and 164 completed the final research process. As the primary outcome, K-WAB showed an increase in scores in both groups compared to baseline scores; however, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.678). After 12 weeks, the donepezil treatment group had higher K-MMSE and lower CDR-SB scores than the donepezil and memantine combination group, indicating better cognitive and functional status. However, this effect was not sustained for 24 weeks. Patients who were assigned to receive only donepezil had Relevant Outcome Scale for AD (ROSA) scores that were higher by an average of 4.6 points compared to the donepezil and memantine combination group. The NPI-Q index improved compared to baseline values in both groups. Conclusions: Although several clinical studies have reported significant improvements in speech function after the administration of memantine, clinical studies on speech function improvement in patients with Alzheimer’s disease are still insignificant. There are no studies on the effect of donepezil and memantine in combination treatment on language function in the moderate and severe stages of AD. Therefore, we investigated the effect of memantine (memantine solution) on speech function in patients with moderate to severe AD who were administered donepezil at a stable dose. Although the efficacy of the combination therapy was not superior to that of donepezil monotherapy alone, memantine was effective in improving behavioural symptoms in patients with moderate or severe AD.
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- Alzheimer’s disease