Download Full Text (469 KB)

Document Type



Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the cause of 60-80% of dementia (2014 Alzheimer’s disease, 2014). AD is estimated to affect over 5 million people over age 65 in the US (2014 Alzheimer’s disease, 2014). With the onset of baby boomers reaching the age of 65 and increased longevity it is estimated that 16 million persons will have Alzheimer’s by 2050. Eighty two percent of persons with AD are over age 85. In 2014 AD is the 6th leading cause of death and the highest cost disease in the US. (2014 Alzheimer’s disease, 2014)

The predicted increase in prevalence and incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and longevity of the disease represents an increased disease burden on families and society and a need for effective management over many years. The purpose of this study will be to determine the effect of donepezil, a cholinesterase inhibitor, at various stages of the disease compared to placebo and to determine the best clinical practice guidelines.

The earlier the onset of donepezil therapy, the more significant effect is seen on preserving cognitive function and delayed nursing home placement. Persons at all stages (mild to very severe retain the ability to respond to donepezil. At end stage disease, it may be efficacious to discontinue donepezil.

These findings indicate that health care providers need to improve the screening and early initiation of donepezil in the management of Alzheimer’s disease as well as monitoring benefits and harm at later stages of the disease.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

First Advisor

Susan Kuntz

Second Advisor

Heidi Olson-Fitzgerald

Publication Date



Alzheimer Disease -- drug therapy; Alzheimer Disease -- prevention & control; Donepezil -- adverse effects; Donepezil -- therapeutic use


Pharmaceutical Preparations

Use of Donepezil in Alzheimer's Disease: Suggested Practice Guidelines