The objective of this 10-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study was to assess the efficacy and safety of donepezil for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction exhibited by children with Down syndrome (DS). Intervention comprised donepezil (2.5–10 mg/day) in children (aged 10–17 years) with DS of mild-to-moderate severity. The primary measures were the Vineland-II Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS-II) Parent/Caregiver Rating Form (PCRF) the sum of nine subdomain standardized scores and standard safety measures. Secondary measures included the VABS-II/PCRF scores on the following domains and their respective individual subdomains: Communication (receptive, expressive, and written); Daily Living Skills (personal, domestic, and community); Socialization (interpersonal relationships, play and leisure time, and coping skills), and scores on the Test of Verbal Expression and Reasoning, a subject-performance-based measure of expressive language. At baseline, 129 participants were assigned treatment with donepezil or placebo. During the double-blind phase, VABS II/PCRF sum of the nine subdomain standardized scores, called v-scores, improved significantly from baseline in both groups (P < 0.0001), with no significant between-group differences. This trial failed to demonstrate any benefit for donepezil versus placebo in children and adolescents with DS, although donepezil appeared to be well tolerated. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.