Background: The effects of anti-dementia drugs on gait performance in Alzheimer disease (AD) are questionable.
The objective of this meta-analysis was to examine the effects of anti-dementia drugs on the mean value and the coefficient
of variation (CoV) of stride time among patients with AD while taking into account the type of drugs (i.e., acetylcholinesterase
inhibitors [AChEIs] versus memantine) and the walking conditions (i.e., single versus dual-task). Methods:
An English and French Medline search was conducted in March 2015, with no limit of date, using the Medical Subject
Headings terms “pharmaceutical preparations” combined with terms "Pharmaceutical preparations" OR "Therapeutic
uses" OR "Drug substitution" OR "Drugs essential" OR "Drugs, Generic" OR "Psychotropic drugs" combined with "Delirium”
OR “Dementia” OR “Amnestic” OR “Cognitive disorders" AND "Gait" OR "Gait Ataxia" OR "Gait disorders,
Neurologic" OR “Gait apraxia”. Fixed-effects meta-analyses were used to examine anti-dementia drugs-related changes in
mean value and CoV of stride time. Results: Of the 66 identified abstracts, 5 (7.6%) were included in the meta-analysis.
Inter-group comparison of between-visit change underscored a significant decrease in CoV of stride time (P<0.004) in intervention
group compared to control group, whatever the pooled analysis considered, but no significant change in the
mean value (P>0.06). Intra-group changes in stride time parameters following the use of anti-dementia drugs showed a
significant decrease for memantine (P<0.001) and while pooling AChEIs and memantine (P<0.001) under single task
condition. Under dual task condition, only AChEIs improved significantly stride time parameters (P=0.002). Conclusion:
Anti-dementia drugs demonstrated a significant improvement of gait performance with specific class effect depending on
the walking conditions and on the type of stride time parameters considered.
Keywords: Alzheimer disease, anti-dementia drugs, dual task, gait disorders, meta-analysis, older adults.
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