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January 2006

Cholinesterase Inhibitor Use and Age in the General Population

Arch Neurol. 2006;63(1):154-155. doi:10.1001/archneur.63.1.154

Cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) are the only drugs approved in several countries for the symptomatic treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer disease (AD), the most common type of dementia. Despite their approval, clinical relevance of ChEIs remains controversial. Some 65 out of 100 patients with AD are 80 years or older,1,2 the fastest growing segment of the elderly population in western countries.1,3 This age group is systematically and grossly underrepresented in dementia clinical research.1,4 Estimates of ChEI use by patients with mild to moderate AD in the general population are very scarce, and to our knowledge, no direct assessment is available from population-based surveys.