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Regional brain activity after prolonged cholinergic enhancement in early Alzheimer's disease

Shanks, Michael F.; Forbes, H; McGeown, William J.; Forbes-McKay, Katrina E.; Waiter, Gordon D.; White, Hollie; Ries, Mario; Venneri, Annalena


Michael F. Shanks

H Forbes

William J. McGeown

Katrina E. Forbes-McKay

Gordon D. Waiter

Hollie White

Mario Ries

Annalena Venneri


This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study examined changes in brain activation after prolonged (20 weeks) and stabilized treatment with the cholinesterase inhibitor galantamine in a small group of patients with very mild Alzheimer's disease (AD). Two cognitive activation paradigms were chosen: one requiring semantic association and the other relying on attention and requiring target detection. A group of age- and education-matched healthy controls was also scanned for comparison. A modest (but not statistically significant) improvement in behavioral scores after treatment was observed in b oth fMRI tasks. There were brain activation increases in the semantic association task after treatment, and the differences in brain activation present in the comparison of AD patients' baseline images with those of controls were not detectable after treatment. In the target detection task, regions that were activated in the elderly controls but not in the baseline images of the AD group also showed significant activation after treatment. Overall, however, the increases were modest and might reflect the heterogeneity of clinical response to treatment in this small group. Future pharmacological fMRI studies should include clinical response as a factor in the analysis of cholinergic enhancement effects in AD patients. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Shanks, M. F., McGeown, W. J., Forbes-McKay, K. E., Waiter, G. D., Ries, M., & Venneri, A. (2007). Regional brain activity after prolonged cholinergic enhancement in early Alzheimer's disease. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 25(6), 848-859.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 11, 2007
Online Publication Date Apr 18, 2007
Publication Date 2007-07
Print ISSN 0730-725X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 6
Pages 848-859
Keywords fMRIImaging; Galantamine; Treatment; Dementia; Alzheimer's disease
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