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Review: Insufficient evidence on Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s

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How effective and safe is Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s disease?


Changes in cognitive function (eg, from scores on Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Hasegawa Dementia Scale (HDS), or ADAS-Cog), changes to global clinical assessment (eg, from scores on Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) or Clinician Interview-Based Impression (CIBIC-Plus)), all cause mortality, adverse events.



Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Data sources:

The Specialized Register of the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group, CBM, AMED and relevant websites were searched in February 2006. Relevant journals and reference lists of studies were hand searched; unpublished material was identified by contacting experts in the field.

Study selection and analysis:

All RCTs of Huperzine A in adults with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) of any severity were included. Participants had to be diagnosed with AD using standard criteria (ICD-9 or -10, DSM III, III-R or IV, or National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke - Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association (NINCDS-ADRDA) criteria). Comparators could include routine treatment or placebo. Missing data were sought from authors.


Six RCTs (454 participants) met inclusion criteria; all of …

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  • Competing interests: TC has been a member of the Janssen-Ortho and Novartis Speaker's Bureaux in the past year, has served on a medical advisory council for Janssen-Ortho, and received a grant from Lundbeck Canada for an investigator-initiated study.