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Pharmacodynamics of cholinesterase inhibitors suggests add-on therapy with a low-dose carbamylating inhibitor in patients on long-term treatment with rapidly reversible inhibitors


Darreh-Shori, Taher, Hosseini, Sharokh Makvand, Nordberg, Agneta


Journal Of Alzheimer's Disease: JAD, Volume: 39, No.: 2, Pages.: 423-440

Year of Publication



Despite three decades of intensive research in the field of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and numerous clinical trials of new therapeutic agents, cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) are still the mainstay of therapeutics for AD and dementia with Lewy bodies. Pharmacodynamic analyses of ChEIs provide paradoxical observations. Treatment with the rapidly reversible, noncarbamylating ChEIs (donepezil, galantamine, and tacrine) increases acetylcholinesterase (AChE) protein expression, whereas the carbamylating agent, rivastigmine, produces sustained inhibition with no significant change in AChE protein expression. Still, the symptomatic clinical efficacies of all these agents are similar. We report here for the first time that treatment with phenserine, another carbamylating ChEI, produces a sustained but mild inhibition of AChE in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of AD patients. We also show that phenserine treatment reverses donepezil-induced elevation of AChE expression. Further analyses on CSF of another larger patient cohort treated with donepezil revealed that, in addition to its main mode of action, donepezil produced two other pharmacodynamics with potentially contradictory outcomes. Donepezil-induced AChE expression favored an AChE-driven amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) aggregation, whereas donepezil itself concentration-dependently counteracted the AChE-induced Aβ aggregation, most likely by competing with the Aβ peptides for peripheral anionic site on the AChE protein. The reduction of AChE protein expression in the donepezil-treated patients by concomitant administration of the carbamylating agent, phenserine, could allow the donepezil molecule to only prevent interaction between Aβ and AChE. The current study suggests that an add-on therapy with a low-dose formulation of a carbamylating agent in patients on long-term donepezil treatment should be explored as a strategy for enhancing the clinical efficacy of these agents in dementia disorders. ;


acetylcholinesterase, ache, addon therapy, administration & dosage, alzheimer disease, alzheimer’s disease, analogs derivatives, blotting western, butyrylcholinesterase, carbamylating, carbamylating cheis, cerebrospinal fluid, chemistry, cholinesterase, cholinesterase inhibitors, cholinesterase inhibitors cheis, donepezil, double-blind method, drug therapy, drug therapy combination, expression, fluorescence, humans, indans, inhibitor, metabolism, of, peripheral anionic site, pharmacokinetics, phenserine, physostigmine, piperidines, protein, reduction, rivastigmine, therapeutic use, thiazoles, time factors

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease, Lewy-Body

Types of Study

Before and After Study

Type of Outcomes


Type of Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions