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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2000 Jan;15(1):50-3.

Sustained cognitive improvement following treatment of Alzheimer's disease with donepezil.

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  • 1Elderly Mental Health Directorate, Wirral and West Cheshire Community NHS Trust, Clatterbridge Hospital, Bebington, UK.



To audit response to the anticholinesterase inhibitor donepezil in patients referred to a specialist memory clinic, to identify possible means of targeting the drug more accurately.


All referrals to the clinic who were assessed and treated against a protocol, with structured follow-up.


All referrals of any age with the diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease, mild to moderately severe. Main outcome measures Cognitive improvement as measured by serial ADAS-cog and MMSE examinations.


Two hundred and eight-two patients commenced on treatment, improved cognitive functioning in over 65% of patients reaching 3 months (N=184), 51% on intention to treat analysis (N=231), with significantly greater improvement (p=0.03) in those aged 65 and under. Carer reports of behavioural improvement not always linked to cognitive improvement. Trend to increased response in those on concomitant antidepressants.


Three-month assessment for response prior to agreeing continuation of treatment selects a group who maintain their response. Younger patients should be targeted for early assessment and treatment.

Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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