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The cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease: a review of progress
  1. T BABIC
  1. Department of Neurology, Medical School University of Zagreb, Kišaticeva 12, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia. Telephone 00385 1 217280, fax 00385 1 217280, email

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    I read with interest the review of Franciset al regarding the progress of the cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease.1 They mentioned that donepezil produced improvement or no deterioration in more than 80% of patients, and that such responses should be viewed positively considering the progressive, degenerative nature of the disease. Various donepezil manufacturer’s medical representatives presenting data from a clinical study2 also commonly use this statement. However, this only partially reveals the truth. In fact, the same study produced improvement or no deterioration in 59% patients on placebo. I think that the beneficial effect of donepezil in particular clinical trials should always be critically reviewed in comparison with placebo. In addition, as both 24 week placebo controlled donepezil trials performed so far excluded patients with behavioural disturbances, my impression is that the positive effect of donepezil on the symptoms of behavioural disturbances still remains controversial. …

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