Around 5% of people aged 65 years or more have dementia.1 In two-thirds of those affected, the underlying cause is Alzheimer's disease, a progressive form of dementia that may start in middle life. In the UK alone, the total cost of Alzheimer's disease is estimated to be over £1.5 billion per year.2 Traditionally, the mainstay of treatment has been supportive care. Here we assess the efficacy and safety of donepezil (Aricept - Eisai; Pfizer), an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor licensed in the UK earlier this year for the "symptomatic treatment of mild to moderately severe Alzheimer's dementia".
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