Cognitive enhancers are used to treat dementia, but their effectiveness for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is unclear. The authors of this study performed a meta-analysis of the efficacy and safety of donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine or memantine for MCI. They found no significant effects of cognitive enhancers on cognition or function in MCI. Cognitive enhancers were associated with higher risks of nausea, diarrhea and vomiting than placebo. They concluded that cognitive enhancers did not improve cognition or function among patients with mild cognitive impairment and were associated with a greater risk of gastrointestinal side-effects. They did not support the use of cognitive enhancers for MCI.
Tricco AC, Soobiah C, Berliner S, Ho JM, Ng CH, Ashoor HM, Chen MH, Hemmelgarn B, Straus SE: Efficacy and safety of cognitive enhancers for patients with mild cognitive impairment: a systematic review and meta-analysis. CMAJ [Epub ahead of print, September 16, 2013; doi:10.1503/cmaj.130451].