We assessed the effects of donepezil, a drug that stimulates cholinergic transmission, and scopolamine, an antagonist of cholinergic transmission, on contrast sensitivity. 30 young male participants were tested under three treatment conditions: placebo, donepezil, and scopolamine in a random order. Pairs of photographs varying in contrast were displayed left and right of fixation for 50. ms. Participants were asked to locate the scene containing an animal. Accuracy was better under donepezil than under scopolamine, particularly for signals of high intensity (at higher levels of contrast). A control experiment showed that the lower performance under scopolamine did not result from the mydriasis induced by scopolamine. The results suggest that cholinergic stimulation, through donepezil, facilitates signal detection in agreement with studies on animals showing that the pharmacological activation of cholinergic receptors controls the gain in the relationship between the stimulus contrast (intensity of the visual input) and visual response. As Alzheimer disease is associated to depletion in acetylcholine, and there is evidence of deficits in contrast sensitivity in Alzheimer, it might be interesting to integrate such rapid and sensitive visual tasks in the biomarkers at early stage of drug development.

Donepezil increases contrast sensitivity for the detection of objects in scenes

Bubbico G.;
2015

Abstract

We assessed the effects of donepezil, a drug that stimulates cholinergic transmission, and scopolamine, an antagonist of cholinergic transmission, on contrast sensitivity. 30 young male participants were tested under three treatment conditions: placebo, donepezil, and scopolamine in a random order. Pairs of photographs varying in contrast were displayed left and right of fixation for 50. ms. Participants were asked to locate the scene containing an animal. Accuracy was better under donepezil than under scopolamine, particularly for signals of high intensity (at higher levels of contrast). A control experiment showed that the lower performance under scopolamine did not result from the mydriasis induced by scopolamine. The results suggest that cholinergic stimulation, through donepezil, facilitates signal detection in agreement with studies on animals showing that the pharmacological activation of cholinergic receptors controls the gain in the relationship between the stimulus contrast (intensity of the visual input) and visual response. As Alzheimer disease is associated to depletion in acetylcholine, and there is evidence of deficits in contrast sensitivity in Alzheimer, it might be interesting to integrate such rapid and sensitive visual tasks in the biomarkers at early stage of drug development.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/709106
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