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Effects of a single dose of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor velnacrine on recognition memory and regional cerebral blood flow in Alzheimer's disease.

Author(s): Ebmeier KP, Hunter R, Curran SM, Dougal NJ, Murray CL, Wyper DJ, Patterson J, Hanson MT, Siegfried K, Goodwin GM

Affiliation(s): MRC Brain Metabolism Unit, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Morningside Park, UK.

Publication date & source: 1992, Psychopharmacology (Berl)., 108(1-2):103-9.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

The effects of a single oral dose of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor velnacrine maleate on word and object recognition memory and regional uptake of 99mTc-exametazime were examined in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Word recognition memory was marginally improved 2 h after 75 mg velnacrine. With the same dose of velnacrine a relative increase in superior frontal uptake of 99mTc-exametazime was shown with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). This suggests increased regional perfusion and metabolism as a consequence of cholinergic stimulation. The effect did not co-vary with the degree of memory improvement, but, instead, more cognitively impaired patients showed a greater increase in tracer uptake after velnacrine, suggesting cholinergic hypersensitivity in the brains of Alzheimer patients.

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