Condition category
Nervous System Diseases
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia for which currently there is no cure available. Early symptoms include memory loss and mild cognitive impairment, often related to stress or aging. As the disease progresses, symptoms worsen to affect all areas of brain function, such as memory, behaviour, language and motor skills. In the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the patient is completely dependent upon caregivers.
With more than 15 million people affected worldwide (5 million in Europe), Alzheimer’s disease is an ever-increasing public health concern among the aging population, causing a great burden to patients and their caregivers. The economic costs of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are estimated at more than €180 billion in Europe each year.
Even small advances in treatment that delay the start of disease (onset) or its progression could significantly reduce the global burden of the disease and the level of care required by patients. While there are drug therapies available for AD that treat symptoms, these medications do not delay onset, slow progression or prevent the disease process itself. Therefore it is necessary to develop new treatments for AD that have disease-modifying effects.
The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness and safety of the drug nilvadipine in Alzheimer’s disease. Nilvadipine is a licensed blood pressure medication with a proven safety record in people with high blood pressure and more recently has been shown to be well tolerated and safe in older people with Alzheimer’s disease. There is preliminary evidence for clinical benefit in individuals with cognitive impairment and strong scientific evidence based on animal model studies of Alzheimer’s disease.

Who can participate?
The study will recruit 500 people over 50 with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

What does the study involve?
Participants will be randomly allocated to receive either nilvadipine or placebo (dummy) for 78 weeks.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
This study tests whether nilvadipine has a disease-modifying effect in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. If this is found to be correct, patients may benefit from this treatment.
In routine treatment, effects of medication are not monitored as regularly as in this study, so patients may benefit from the routine examinations during study participation.
Subjects administered the nilvadipine drug may experience adverse events, adverse drug reactions or other clinically significant complaints, symptoms or other abnormalities.
However, the risk associated with the trial is low. Nilvadipine is a licensed medication for high blood pressure in certain European countries with a reliable safety profile. A successful short-term safety study was carried out on Alzheimer’s patients in 2008 which showed very good tolerability in this patient population over the 6-week trial period.

Where is the study run from?
The study will be conducted across 23 study sites in nine partner countries (Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Greece, Hungary, France, Italy, Germany) and is being coordinated by Prof Brian Lawlor from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study started in May 2013 and will be recruiting patients until December 2014. The study is expected to complete in July 2016.

Who is funding the study?
The study is funded by the European Commission's Framework 7 programme.

Who is the main contact?
Fiona Cregg

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Ms Jessica Adams


Contact details

Institute Of Psychiatry
16 De Crespigny Park
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 848 0549

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

2012-002764-27 number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

A European multicenre double-blind placebo controlled phase III trial of nilvadipine in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease


Study hypothesis

The objective of this study is to investigate the efficacy of Nilvadipine as a disease course modifying treatment for mild to moderate AD in a phase III double-blind placebo-controlled study and to investigate the safety profile of Nilvadipine in patients with mild to moderate AD.

More details can be found at: and

Ethics approval

NRES Committee- North London – Harrow, 6th February 2013, ref 12/LO/1903

Study design

Randomized double-blind placebo controlled parallel; Design type: Treatment

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Topic: Dementias and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network; Subtopic: Dementia; Disease: Alzheimer's Disease


A total of 500 subjects with Alzheimer’s disease; 250 in the nilvadipine group and 250 in the placebo group recruited from 31 European centres.

Over encapsulated nilvadipine 8 mg, sustained release capsule, for the treatment group, taken once a day at lunchtime or, matching over encapsulated placebo for the control group, taken once a day at lunchtime.
The total study duration will be 82 weeks. Patients will receive study medication for 78 weeks.

Intervention type



Phase III

Drug names


Primary outcome measures

Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS)

Timepoint(s): Baseline, Weeks 0,13,52,78

Secondary outcome measures

1. Disability Assessment for Dementia (DAD)
2. Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR) Assessments

Timepoint(s): Baseline, Weeks 0,13,52,78

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Age range: Adult subjects, males and females over age 50 years.
2. Subjects with a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer’s disease based on the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke/Alzheimer’s disease and Related Disorders Association, Inc (NINCDS-ADRDA) criteria (McKhann et al, 1984)
3. Subjects with a Standardised Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE) (Standish & Molloy, 1991) score of greater than or equal to 12 and less than 27.
4.Subjects on a stable dose (>3 months) of cholinesterase inhibitor or memantine. The dose must be stabilised prior to randomisation. Patients due to begin these medications must not be enrolled until the dose is stabilised. Subjects who are not on cholinesterase inhibitors or memantine due to poor tolerability and/or who will not require treatment with these medications during the course of the study can be included.
5. Subjects who retain capacity will provide written informed consent for participation. The procedure for obtaining informed consent when the subject has reduced decision making capacity will follow national law and will be assessed by the relevant bodies in each of the participating countries.
6. Fluency in relevant language sufficient to reliably complete all study assessments.
7. Subjects with blood pressure values greater than 100/65 mmHg but less than 159/99 mmHg (Grade 1 hypertension, ECS guidelines 2007; using an office based BP measurement will be included.
Subjects with blood pressure values greater than 105/70mmHg but less than 140/90 mmHg using an Ambulatory BP measurement will be included.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

Planned Sample Size: 500; UK Sample Size: 60

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Subjects with co-morbid dementia due to other neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, vascular dementia, Huntington's disease, Pick's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, brain dementia, Huntington's disease, Pick's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, brain tumour, progressive supranuclear palsy, seizure disorder, subdural hematoma, or multiple sclerosis, as well as subjects with HIV disease, neurosyphilis, history of significant head trauma with loss of consciousness followed by persistent neurological deficits, known structural brain abnormalities, or any other condition known to interfere with cognitive function.
2. Subjects currently taking any calcium channel blocker or beta-blocker
3. Subjects who in the opinion of the investigator, have a medical condition that would preclude them from participating in the study (e.g.hemodynamically significant coronary artery disease, chronic heart failure, syncope within the past year, significant valvular heart disease i.e. severe aortic and mitral stenosis symptomatic orthostatic hypotension within the last year, subjects requiring more than one agent to control BP), or subjects who in the opinion of the investigator are unlikely to complete per protocol due to care issues etc.
4. Current Axis I diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression. Subjects who are currently or who have within the past year met criteria for drug or alcohol abuse or dependence.
5. Pregnant women or women who may possibly become pregnant.
6. Female subjects who are breastfeeding will be excluded from the study
7. Subjects with a history of hypersensitivity to nilvadipine (Nivadil).
8. Subjects who have taken an investigational or other unapproved drug during the 30 days or five half-lives, whichever is longer, prior to baseline.
9. Subjects who are taking any medication listed in the list of exclusion medication for the study.
10. Subjects with abnormal ECG results which prevent participation in the study.
11. Standardised Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE) score of less than 12 or greater than 26.
12. Subjects who are participating in other clinical research studies.
13. Subjects with any clinically significant laboratory blood test abnormality on his/her screening test.
14.Subjects with blood pressure values less than 100/65 mmHg but greater than 159/99 mmHg (Grade 1 hypertension, ECS guidelines 2007; using an office based BP measurement will be excluded. Subjects with blood pressure values less than 105/70mmHg but greater than 140/90 mmHg using an Ambulatory BP measurement will be excluded.
15.Subjects with clinically significant abnormalities in their CT/MRI results which would prevent inclusion in the study.
16. Patients with sigificant renal insuffiency (estimated glomerular filtration rate: eGFR <30ml/min) will be excluded .
17. Subjects with severly impaired hepatic function (liver cirrhosis) will be excluded.
18. The medical food stuff Souvenaid® is under exclusion from the study.

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Institute Of Psychiatry
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


St James Hospital (Ireland)

Sponsor details

James Street
Dublin 8

Sponsor type

Hospital/treatment centre



Funder type


Funder name

European Commission Framework 7 programme; Grant Codes: 279093

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes