This site uses cookies to measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs and also uses cookies to help remember the notifications you’ve seen, like this one, so that we don’t show them to you again. If you could also tell us a little bit about yourself, this information will help us understand how we can support you better and make this site even easier for you to use and navigate.

Reduction of hippocampal hyperactivity improves cognition in amnestic mild cognitive impairment


Bakker, Arnold, Krauss, Gregory L., Albert, Marilyn S., Speck, Caroline L., Jones, Lauren R., Stark, Craig E., Yassa, Michael A., Bassett, Susan S., Shelton, Amy L., Gallagher, Michela


Neuron, Volume: 74, No.: 3, Pages.: 467-474

Year of Publication



Elevated hippocampal activation is observed in conditions that confer risk for Alzheimer’s disease, including amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). Studies in relevant animal models have indicated that overactivity in selective hippocampal circuits contributes to cognitive impairment. Here, we tested the effect of reducing hippocampal activation in aMCI. Under placebo treatment, hippocampal activation in the dentate gyrus/CA3 was elevated in aMCI patients compared to a healthy control group. By using a low dose of the antiepileptic levetiracetam hippocampal activation in aMCI was reduced to a level that did not differ from the control group. Compared to aMCI memory performance under placebo, performance in the scanning task was significantly improved under drug treatment. Contrary to the view that greater hippocampal activation might serve a beneficial function, these results support the view that increased hippocampal activation in aMCI is a dysfunctional condition and that targeting excess hippocampal activity has therapeutic potential.; Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Bibtex Citation

@article{Bakker_2012, doi = {10.1016/j.neuron.2012.03.023}, url = {}, year = 2012, month = {may}, publisher = {Elsevier {BV}}, volume = {74}, number = {3}, pages = {467--474}, author = {Arnold Bakker and Gregory~L. Krauss and Marilyn~S. Albert and Caroline~L. Speck and Lauren~R. Jones and Craig~E. Stark and Michael~A. Yassa and Susan~S. Bassett and Amy~L. Shelton and Michela Gallagher}, title = {Reduction of Hippocampal Hyperactivity Improves Cognition in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment}, journal = {Neuron} }


activation, aged, aged, 80 and over, amnesia, analogs derivatives, blood, blood supply, brain mapping, casecontrol studies, choice behavior, complications, doubleblind method, drug effects, drug therapy, etiology, female, hippocampal, hippocampus, humans, image processing computerassisted, levetiracetam, magnetic resonance imaging, male, middle aged, mild cognitive impairment, neuropsychological tests, nootropic agents, oxygen, pathology, photic stimulation, physiopathology, piracetam, statistics as topic, therapeutic use

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Types of Study

Non randomised controlled trial

Type of Outcomes


Type of Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions