Physostigmine in Alzheimer's disease: effects on cognitive functioning, cerebral glucose metabolism analyzed by positron emission tomography and cerebral blood flow analyzed by single photon emission tomography

L. Tune, J. Brandt, J. J. Frost, G. Harris, H. Mayberg, C. Steele, A. Burns, J. Sapp, M. F. Folstein, H. N. Wagner, G. D. Pearlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effect of acute, intravenous administration of physostigmine on measures of brain activity and cognitive functioning were investigated in 14 patients with Alzheimer's disease. Regional cerebral glucose metabolism was assessed using (18F)‐fluoro‐2‐deoxy‐D‐glucose and positron emission tomography, and cerebral blood flow was assessed using 123I‐iodoamphetamine single photon emission tomography. Although physostigmine enhanced cerebral blood flow in most patients, only one patient showed significant clinical improvement. This patient, however, also showed a very pronounced improvement in cerebral glucose metabolism. It is concluded that these preliminary findings hold considerable promise for our appreciation of the pathophysiology of dementing illness as well as our understanding of centrally acting compounds of interest in Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-65
Number of pages5
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume83
Issue number366 S
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1991

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • cerebral blood flow
  • cerebral glucose metabolism
  • clinical improvement
  • physostigmine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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