, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 421–427 | Cite as

Memory improvement without toxicity during chronic, low dose intravenous arecoline in Alzheimer's disease

  • Timothy T. Soncrant
  • Kathleen C. Raffaele
  • Sanjay Asthana
  • Annamaria Berardi
  • P. Pearse Morris
  • James V. Haxby
Original Investigations


Arecoline, a cholinergic agonist, administered at low doses by continuous intravenous infusion for up to 2 weeks, significantly and replicably improved memory in five of nine subjects with mild-moderate Alzheimer's disease. During dose finding, performance on a verbal memory task improved with an inverted U-shaped relation to dose. Six of nine subjects were classified as responders. During blinded, placebo-controlled, individualized optimal dosing for 5 days, verbal memory again improved in five of six responders but not in any non-responder. No adverse drug effects occurred. Arecoline, and possibly other cholinergic agonists, can safely improve memory in Alzheimer's disease at doses much lower than previously studied.

Key words

Arecoline Alzheimer's disease Memory 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy T. Soncrant
    • 1
  • Kathleen C. Raffaele
    • 1
  • Sanjay Asthana
    • 1
  • Annamaria Berardi
    • 1
  • P. Pearse Morris
    • 1
  • James V. Haxby
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit on Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics, Laboratory of NeurosciencesNational Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health 10/6C103BethesdaUSA

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