Efficacy of Donepezil on Maintenance of Activities of Daily Living in Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Alzheimer’s Disease, and Impact on Caregiver Burden

Serge Gauthier, MD, FRCPC, McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, Montréal, QC.

Functional disability is an important component of Alzheimer’s disease. A number of scales are available to measure activities of daily living (ADL) throughout the course of disease, including instrumental as well as self-care activities. A randomized clinical study comparing donepezil to a placebo in moderate-to-severe stages of AD showed a stabilization of ADL decline over six months for patients on donepezil. Less time for ADL care was required by caregivers of patients on donepezil compared to those on placebos.

Key words: Alzheimer, therapy, activities of daily living, donepezil, caregiving time

The importance of decline in activities of daily living (ADL) in older adults with dementia has been recognized in the condition’s diagnostic criteria, described as “significant impairment in social or occupational functioning” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).