Donepezil Delays Dementia in Depressed Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment

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According to findings published in the June 16th issue of Neurology donepezil (Aricept) may delay dementia in patients with mild cognitive impairment and depression. The study, however, found that patients without depression did not experience as significant proportions of stabilization or improvement of Alzheimer’s symptoms when taking the drug. The proportion of patients who received donepezil who progressed to Alzheimer’s disease was lower at 2.2 years (P=0.025) and slightly lower at 2.7years.(P=0.070). Outcomes among depressed patients with mild cognitive impairment varied greatly from stabilization to improvement of functioning. Mild cognitive impairment as it is related to dementia is a transitional phase between Alzheimer’s and loss of function associated with normal aging. Po H. Lu, Psy. D., of UCLA, one of the authors of the study, commenting said, “If we can delay the progression of this disease for even two years, it could significantly improve the quality of life for many people dealing with memory loss.” Click here to read an article from Modern Medicine.com that discusses the study more.

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