Cerebrospinal fluid levels of biomarkers and activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase in AD patients before and after treatment with different AChE inhibitors
In order to evaluate the biochemical effects of long-term treatment with inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), we measured the activities of AChE and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChe) and the concentrations of β-amyloid (1–42), τ and phosphorylated τ proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). A total of 91 patients suffering from probable AD of mild to moderate degree were treated for 6 months with donepezil (n=59), galantamine (n=15), rivastigmine (n=10), or placebo (n=7). AChE activity in CSF was significantly increased after treatment with donepezil and galantamine; the opposite was observed in the rivastigmine-treated group. Untreated patients did not show any AChE activity variation. BuChE did not show any change in any of the groups studied. Mean values of β-amyloid(1–42), total τ and phosphorylated τ also did not vary significantly. We conclude that AChE inhibitors induce different effects on CSF AChE activity, while other CSF biomarkers are not significantly affected by treatment.