Comparative safety and effectiveness of cognitive enhancers for Alzheimer's dementia: protocol for a systematic review and individual patient data network meta-analysis Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • INTRODUCTION: Alzheimer's dementia (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, and several organisations, such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, suggest that management of patients with AD should be tailored to their needs. To date, little research has been conducted on the treatment effect in different subgroups of patients with AD. The aim of this study is to examine the comparative effectiveness and safety of cognitive enhancers for different patient characteristics. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will update our previous literature search from January 2015 forward, using the same terms and electronic databases (eg, MEDLINE) from our previous review. We will additionally search grey literature and scan the reference lists of the included studies. Randomised clinical trials of any duration conducted at any time comparing cognitive enhancers alone or in any combination against other cognitive enhancers, or placebo in adults with AD will be eligible. The outcomes of interest are cognition according to the Mini-Mental State Examination, and overall serious adverse events. For each outcome and treatment comparison, we will perform a Bayesian hierarchical random-effects meta-analysis combining the individual patient data (IPD) from each eligible study. If the identified treatment comparisons form a connected network diagram, we will perform an IPD network meta-analysis (NMA) to estimate subgroup effects for patients with different characteristics, such as AD severity and sex. We will combine aggregated data from studies that we will not be able to obtain IPD, with the IPD provided by the original authors, in a single model. We will use the PRISMA-IPD and PRISMA-NMA statements to report our findings. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The findings of this study will be of interest to stakeholders, including decision makers, guideline developers, clinicians, methodologists and patients, and they will help to improve guidelines for the management of patients with AD. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42015023507.


  • Veroniki, Areti Angeliki
  • Straus, Sharon E
  • Ashoor, Huda M
  • Hamid, Jemila
  • Hemmelgarn, Brenda R
  • Holroyd-Leduc, Jayna
  • Majumdar, Sumit R
  • McAuley, Glenn
  • Tricco, Andrea C

publication date

  • January 2016