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Keywords:

  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • complementary and alternative medicine;
  • effectiveness;
  • systematic reviews

Abstract

Aim

The aim of this overview was to critically evaluate the literature on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for Alzheimer's disease.

Method

Four electronic databases were searched to identify all relevant systematic reviews of effectiveness of CAM for Alzheimer's disease. Reviews were defined as systematic if they included explicit and repeatable criteria for the selection of primary studies. The methodological quality of reviews was assessed using the Oxman criteria for systematic reviews.

Results

Six systematic reviews met the inclusion criteria. Most reviews were of high quality. Three reviews arrived at ambiguous conclusions, two arrived at positive conclusions and one reached a negative conclusion.

Conclusions

Evidence supporting the effectiveness of CAM for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease is ambiguous. Since some herbal medicines show promise in the management of Alzheimer's disease, future research seems justified.