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Cardiovascular effects of donepezil in patients with dementia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andrew McLaren, Professor John AllenORCiD, Emeritus Professor Alan MurrayORCiD, Dr Clive Ballard, Professor Rose Anne Kenny


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Heart rate variability is used to assess cardiovascular autonomic function. The cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil potentially affects parasympathetic activity. Twenty participants with Alzheimer's disease or dementia with Lewy bodies were treated with donepezil in a pilot study. Power spectral analysis was used to analyse 5 min of beat-to-beat RR interval data in 15 cases. Heart rate variability was significantly reduced following treatment with donepezil; mainly for high frequency (median changed from 581 to 78 ms2; p = 0.001) but also for total power (median changed from 1,563 to 844 ms2; p = 0.047). Donepezil may adversely influence cardiovascular autonomic control. These results indicate the need for larger controlled trials to further investigate the cardiovascular effects of donepezil. Copyright © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McLaren AT, Allen J, Murray A, Ballard CG, Kenny RA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders

Year: 2003

Volume: 15

Issue: 4

Pages: 183-188

Print publication date: 01/01/2003

ISSN (print): 1420-8008

ISSN (electronic): 1421-9824

Publisher: S. Karger AG


DOI: 10.1159/000068781

PubMed id: 12626850


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