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.

More information
Type

Journal article

Journal

Psychopharmacology (Berl)

Publication Date

1992

Volume

108

Pages

103 - 109

Keywords

Aged, Alzheimer Disease, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Cholinesterase Inhibitors, Cognition, Double-Blind Method, Female, Humans, Male, Memory, Middle Aged, Physostigmine, Tacrine, Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon