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Effects of Donepezil on Central Processing Speed and Attentional Measures in Parkinson’s Disease with Dementia and Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Rowan E.a · McKeith I.G.a · Saxby B.K.a, b · O’Brien J.T.a · Burn D.a · Mosimann U.a · Newby J.a · Daniel S.a · Sanders J.a · Wesnes K.b
aInstitute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, bCognitive Drug Research Ltd., CDR House, Goring-on-Thames, UK Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2007;23:161–167 (DOI:10.1159/000098335)


Background: We examined attention-enhancing effects of the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil in Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s disease with dementia (PDD) by means of open label study. Methods: 22 DLBs and 23 PDDs were assessed over 20 weeks using the Cognitive Drug Research Computerized Attentional Tasks. We examined how much closer our patients moved towards being normal for their age by comparing them to a non-demented elderly control sample (n = 183, aged 71–75 years). Results: Donepezil treatment improved power of attention, continuity of attention and reaction time variability. The deficit in responses was moved towards normal by 38 and 56% for power of attention and 22 and 10% for continuity of attention in PDD and DLB, respectively. Conclusions: Improvements in attention were found with donepezil in PDD and DLB.


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