Cochrane Summaries

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Rivastigmine is beneficial for people with Alzheimer's disease

Birks J, Grimley Evans J, Iakovidou V, Tsolaki M
Published Online: 
8 July 2009

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the commonest cause of dementia affecting older people, and is associated with loss of cholinergic neurons in parts of the brain subserving aspects of memory. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, such as rivastigmine, delay the breakdown of acetylcholine released into synaptic clefts and may enhance cholinergic neurotransmission. There is evidence that rivastigmine is beneficial for people with Alzheimer's disease, in being associated with small improvements in the rate of decline of cognitive function and activities of daily living. Adverse effects were consistent with the cholinergic actions of the drug.