The DONPAD-study--treatment of dementia in patients with Parkinson's disease with donepezil

J Neural Transm Suppl. 2006:(71):27-30. doi: 10.1007/978-3-211-33328-0_3.


Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase improves symptoms of dementia in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Dementia in PD has a cumulative incidence of up to 80% and is mainly caused by a distinct cholinergic deficit. Objectives of this investigator initiated multicenter open label trial were to confirm the efficacy of donepezil in the treatment of dementia in PD patients and to investigate the tolerability and safety of donepezil. The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE)-score significantly increased in patients, who finished the trial. A detailed analysis of the various items of the MMSE revealed, that only task performance of orientation and recall significantly improved. Scores of the short syndrome test and the Clinical Global Impression Scale improved, motor impairment did not increase. Only 14 out of 24 PD patients finished the trial due to predominant onset of vomiting, nausea, dizziness and confusion. This may result from the titration regime of donepezil, that allows only 5 and 10 mg dosages. Participants with premature study termination had a significant longer duration of PD, less motivation and sleep disturbances at night. Treatment with donepezil was only effective in PD patients with dementia, who experience nearly no side effects from the drug.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Dementia / complications
  • Dementia / drug therapy*
  • Donepezil
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indans / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Mental Status Schedule
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Indans
  • Piperidines
  • Donepezil