Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Double-blind, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible for inclusion.
Specific interventions included in the review
Placebo-controlled trials of donepezil and galantamine were eligible for inclusion. In the included studies, the doses used were 5 and 10 mg/day for donepezil and 8 to 36 mg/day for galantamine. The study duration ranged from 12 to 24 weeks for donepezil and from 3 to 6 months for galantamine.
Participants included in the review
The participants were patients with mild to moderate AD without any other psychiatric or neurological disorder. The mean age of the participants ranged from 69.8 to 73.7 years for donepezil studies and from 72.5 to 76.8 years for galantamine studies. The proportion of male participants ranged from 33 to 38% for donepezil and from 36 to 44% for galantamine.
Outcomes assessed in the review
The studies were required to report measures of cognitive ability and provide sufficient data to allow the calculation of an effect size. Donepezil studies reported the AD assessment scale-cognitive (ADAS-cog), the Japanese version of the ADAS-cog (ADAS-Jcog) and the mini-mental state examination (MMSE). All the galantamine studies used the ADAS-cog as a measure of cognitive ability.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.