Study of Mirtazapine or Carbamazepine for Agitation in Dementia (SYMBAD)
This article was originally posted on Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust’s website.
Agitation is common in Alzheimer’s dementia and is one of the most distressing of the behavioural and psychological symptoms that are common in this condition but we don’t have a good evidence base for what treatments are effective.
The Study of Mirtazapine or Carbamazepine for Agitation in Dementia (SYMBAD) study is a large multicentre trial aims to build the evidence base for drug treatment of agitation in this group of patients. It’s a randomised controlled trial comparing an anticonvulsant/mood stabiliser (carbamazepine) an antidepressant (mirtazapine) and placebo for treatment of agitation in Alzheimer’s dementia.
We are recruiting patients in CPFT and from local care homes. The study is an NIHR CRN portfolio study supported by CPFT’s Windsor Research Unit and is available on Join Dementia Research.
If patients and their family/carers agree to take part in this study, they will be prescribed treatment for 12 weeks. They will then be followed up for 1 year after, with assessment sessions at 26 and 52 weeks.
Patients taking part in this study will be randomly allocated to a treatment group (they will be selected to their treatment group by chance). The study is blinded, so this means their doctor and the research team will not know which treatment they have been taking until after the study has ended. This is necessary so that the trial is a fair test of which treatment works best, however it is possible to find out which medicine they are taking in the event of a medical emergency.
The study is entirely voluntary and all patients wishing to join the study must complete an informed consent form (or if they lack capacity their representative may do so on their behalf). Each participant must also have a nominated carer who consents to being questioned on aspects of the patient’s dementia/care and their own experiences in caring for the patient.
Dr Annabel Price is the Principal Investigator at CPFT. Contact Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.