Study shows positive impact of Aricept on late-stage Alzheimer’s disease

 People with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease are often prescribed the drug donepezil, also known as Aricept, to reduce symptoms in the early to middle stages of their illness. However, a recent study has concluded that donepezil is still continuing to be beneficial to people in the later stage of the disease.

Professor Robert Howard of King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, who led the study, said: “For the first time, we have robust and compelling evidence that treatment with these drugs can continue to help patients at the more severe stages. Patients who continued taking donepezil were about four months ahead in how they were able to remember, communicate and perform daily tasks than those who stopped taking the drugs”.

Professor Antony Bayer, Director of the Cardiff and Vale Memory Team and Head of Geriatric Medicine at Cardiff University, welcomed the findings: “This provides clear evidence that continued drug use has potential benefit for people with dementia and their families. All decisions about treatment should be based on what is in an individual’s best interest rather than blanket application of non-evidence based guidelines. Now we have evidence to justify what we do.”

A full report can be found on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17275807