March 24, 2015 – Modest Results


Anchor lead:  A trial called Finger took a comprehensive approach to slowing down Alzheimer’s disease, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Employing physical and mental activity, social interaction and nutritional intervention failed to appreciably slow down development of Alzheimer’s disease, a trial called FINGER has just reported.  Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at Johns Hopkins, offers his opinion.

Lyketsos: The really disappointing piece is that with all this intervention even though they have a significant result they have a very unimportant magnitude finding.  In terms of the outcome everybody got better. The delta between the two was .04 of a standard deviation. Now they’re saying that’s 25% better, yeah, it’s 25% better because it’s .16 versus .20 so this intense intervention, the best they can do, is this very small benefit on just one measure, no benefit to memory, no benefit to functioning.  :34

Lyketsos says that small benefit required in the hundreds of hours a year to achieve, making this approach impractical at best.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.