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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Galantamine improves sustained attention in chronic cocaine users.

Chronic cocaine users are known to have cognitive deficits that are predictive of poor treatment response. Whether these deficits improve with medications targeting specific cognitive functions has not been examined in previous studies. The goal of this study was to evaluate galantamine's efficacy on selected cognitive outcomes, including measures of sustained attention, response inhibition, and attentional bias in recently abstinent cocaine users. Galantamine, a reversible and competitive inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, is used clinically in the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia. In a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study, 34 participants were randomized to galantamine (8 mg/day) or placebo treatment for 10 days. Cognitive and self-report mood measures were obtained at baseline and on Days 5 and 10 after the initiation of treatment. Galantamine treatment, compared to placebo, improved the reaction time, F(2, 50) = 8.6, p < .01, detection sensitivity (A'), F(2, 50) = 4.9, p < .03, number of hits, F(2, 50) = 4.2, p < .04, and number of correct rejections, F(2, 50) = 5.6, p < .02, on the Rapid Visual Information Processing task. With the exception of speeding the reaction time on the Stroop, galantamine did not affect performance on other tasks, (p > .05). These results demonstrate that medications can enhance cognitive function (e.g., sustained attention) in abstinent cocaine users. The potential efficacy of galantamine as a treatment for cocaine abuse needs to be further evaluated in clinical trials.[1]


  1. Galantamine improves sustained attention in chronic cocaine users. Sofuoglu, M., Waters, A.J., Poling, J., Carroll, K.M. Exp. Clin. Psychopharmacol (2011) [Pubmed]
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