This review was conducted in order to determine the efficacy of donepezil and galantamine in the treatment of cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, and also to determine whether galantamine was a superior pharmacological intervention. Meta-analytic methods were used to analyse the data from eight empirical studies which met the inclusion criteria specified. By finding the mean effect sizes of the treatment on the outcome measures of cognition, it was determined that neither drug was greatly efficacious. However, this result does not necessarily diminish the practical value of the drug. It was also found that galantamine was no better than donepezil at treating cognitive decline in AD. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.