Reduced basal forebrain atrophy progression in a randomized Donepezil trial in prodromal Alzheimer's disease

Abstract : Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are approved drugs currently used for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia. Basal forebrain cholinergic system (BFCS) atrophy is reported to precede both entorhinal cortex atrophy and memory impairment in AD, challenging the traditional model of the temporal sequence of topographical pathology associated with AD. We studied the effect of one-year Donepezil treatment on the rate of BFCS atrophy in prodromal AD patients using a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Donepezil (10 mg/day). Reduced annual BFCS rates of atrophy were found in the Donepezil group compared to the Placebo treated arm. Secondary analyses on BFCS subregions demonstrated the largest treatment effects in the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert (NbM) and the medial septum/diagonal band (Ch1/2). Donepezil administered at a prodromal stage of AD seems to substantially reduce the rate of atrophy of the BFCS nuclei with highest concentration of cholinergic neurons projecting to the cortex (NbM), hippocampus and entorhinal cortex (Ch1/2).
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Enrica Cavedo, Michel J Grothe, Olivier Colliot, Simone Lista, Marie Chupin, et al.. Reduced basal forebrain atrophy progression in a randomized Donepezil trial in prodromal Alzheimer's disease. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7 (1), pp.11706. ⟨10.1038/s41598-017-09780-3⟩. ⟨hal-01589622⟩

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