The effect of long-term physostigmine administration in alzheimer's disease

Academic Article


  • We assessed the effect of chronic long-term physostigmine in 20 patients with probable Alzheimer's disease. Initially, all patients went through a dose-finding phase and a double-blind crossover period, and were subsequently classified as physostigmine responders or nonresponders based on an a priori classification system. We then offered all patients long-term treatment with physostigmine regardless of their initial classification. Results revealed that responders spent significantly (p < 0.0005) longer time periods on drug (36.1 ± 4.6 months) than nonresponders (10.8 ± 3.2). During a 2nd crossover period, 18 months into treatment, responders still demonstrated behavioral improvement, as assessed with the Sandoz Clinical Assessment-Geriatric Scale, whereas there were no behavioral changes observed in nonresponders. There were no effects on formal neuropsychological assessment. The results suggest that a subgroup of Alzheimer's patients benefits from long-term physostigmine therapy. © 1990 American Academy of Neurology.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Neurology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Harrell LE; Callaway R; Morere D; Falgout J
  • Start Page

  • 1350
  • End Page

  • 1354
  • Volume

  • 40
  • Issue

  • 9