J Alzheimers Dis. 2022 Jun 6. doi: 10.3233/JAD-215630. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Depression is a common manifestation in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In clinical practice, antidepressant medication is often used for depression in AD.
OBJECTIVE: We explore the effectiveness of the atypical antidepressant tianeptine compared with other conventional antidepressants in AD patients with depression in a real-life setting.
METHODS: We retrospectively identified 126 AD patients who had received antidepressant treatment for 12 months with tianeptine or other antidepressants. Subjects were divided into two groups according to the treatment they had received: tianeptine group (n = 38) or other antidepressant group (n = 88). Drug effects on depression, cognition, behavior, and functional performance were evaluated at baseline, 6, and 12 months. A Mixed Effects Model Analysis was carried out to evaluate changes in performance scores.
RESULTS: Both tianeptine and other antidepressants showed an antidepressant effect after 12 months with significant improvement on the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Depression subscale. A statistically significant improvement at 12 months was shown in the tianeptine group versus the other antidepressants group on most of the cognitive measures such as the Mini-Mental State Examination, the Letter and Category Fluency Test, the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, and the Boston Naming Test.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that tianeptine reduces depressive symptoms and improve cognition in AD patients. This could be considered clinically relevant and should inspire the design of future long-term randomized controlled trials that contribute to supporting the use of tianeptine for improving cognitive function in AD patients.