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Alzheimer's Disease

Aricept as a Behavioral Control

05/14/2007

Question:

My Mother is in an Alzheimer`s Care facility that wants to give her aricept to keep her from crying, or at least to help her get through the emotional needs. My Mother is in later stage Alzheimer`s care.

Answer:

Although Aricept (donepezil) is now approved for use in patients with severe dementia it is not approved to treat behavioral symptoms. The evidence for its efficacy (effectiveness) is not that great. I would consider trying it as an option but evaluate its usefulness after a month or so. The main therapeutic effort should be made to try to understand what is causing the crying.

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Response by:

Peter J Whitehouse, MD, PhD Peter J Whitehouse, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University