Back to Journals » Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment » Volume 4 » Issue 2

Prolonged cholinergic enrichment influences regional cortical activation in early Alzheimer’s disease

Authors McGeown WJ, Shanks MF, Venneri A

Published 11 April 2008 Volume 2008:4(2) Pages 465—476

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S2461


William J McGeown1, Michael F Shanks1, Annalena Venneri1,2

1University of Hull, Hull, UK; 2University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

Abstract: Neuroimaging studies of cholinesterase inhibitor (ChEI) treatment in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) indicate that the short and long term actions of ChEIs are dissimilar. fMRI studies of the ChEI rivastigmine have focused on its short term action. In this exploratory study the effect of prolonged (20 weeks) rivastigmine treatment on regional brain activity was measured with fMRI in patients with mild AD. Eleven patients with probable AD and nine age-matched controls were assessed with a Pyramids and Palm Trees semantic association and an n-back working memory fMRI paradigm. In the patient group only, the assessment was repeated after 20 weeks of treatment. There was an increase in task-related brain activity after treatment with activations more like those of normal healthy elderly. Behaviorally, however, there were no significant differences between baseline and retest scores, with a range of performance probably reflecting variation in drug efficacy across patients. Variable patient response and drug dynamic/kinetic factors in small patient groups will inevitably bias (either way) the effect size of any relevant drug related changes in activation. Future studies should take drug response into account to provide more insight into the benefits of ChEI drugs at the individual level.

Keywords: fMRI, rivastigmine, treatment, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]