Our goal in this study was to determine whether donepezil, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, would improve cognitive functioning in 19 subjects with Down syndrome and no dementia. They were assigned to either a donepezil or placebo group. Cognitive functioning and caregiver ratings were measured at baseline, 4 weeks, and 12 weeks. With the exception of one area (language), no improvement was noted in any of the cognitive subtests, behavioral scores, or caregiver ratings. Subjects in the donepezil group showed an improvement in language scores compared to subjects in the placebo group. The results suggest that donepezil may improve language performance in subjects with Down syndrome and no dementia, but further studies need to be done on a larger group to confirm this result.
Editor-in-charge: William Maclean Jr.