Effects of galantamine on measures of attention: Results from 2 clinical trials in Alzheimer disease patients with comparisons to donepezil

James E. Galvin, Barbara Cornblatt, Paul Newhouse, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Keith Wesnes, David Williamson, Young Zhu, Karin Sorra, Joan Amatniek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Deficits in attention are present early in the course of Alzheimer disease (AD). Acetylcholine receptors are appealing molecular targets for intervention as cholinergic pathways are involved in the neurobiology of attention. For this reason, measures of attention were included in 2 independent, multicenter, randomized, parallel, controlled trials in subjects with AD comparing the effects of galantamine, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and postulated nicotinic receptor modulator, and donepezil, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. The attention battery of the Cognitive Drug Research computerized assessment system was used in both trials. Small magnitude, positive signals were observed for simple and choice reaction times for both compounds. Attention task performance tended to improve early for galantamine-treated subjects. A consistent temporal pattern of improvement was not observed in donepezil-treated subjects. Quantitative findings appeared more pronounced in subjects with moderate AD. Galantamine's proposed action as a nicotinic receptor modulator may bear on these findings. Improved attention may have positive effects on cognitive and functional outcomes for AD patients, although this hypothesis requires further study and validation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalAlzheimer disease and associated disorders
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alzheimer disease
  • Dementia
  • Galantamine
  • Nicotinic receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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