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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1999 Apr;143(2):123-30.

Divided attention-enhancing effects of AF102B and THA in aging monkeys.

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Hippocampal Research Laboratory, VA Wadsworth MC, Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA.


The effects of cholinergic drugs proposed for treatment of cognitive impairment in normal aging and dementia on divided attention have been little studied in non-human primates. We tested the hypothesis that cholinergic drugs improve spatial divided attention in primates via a computer task requiring simultaneous tracking of two visual targets in three young and two aged healthy bonnet macaques. Task accuracy (number of correct responses) and reaction time (RT) were measured 2 h after administration of either the m1 agonist +/- -cis-2-methyl-spiro(1,3-oxathiolane-5,3')quinuclidine (AF102B; 0.1-2.1 mg/kg IM) or the cholinesterase inhibitor 9-amino-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroamino-acridine (THA; 0.5-2.0 mg/kg orally). Accuracy increased for four of five monkeys at appropriate doses of one or both cholinomimetics, accompanied in two monkeys by a drop in RT. Responses were less uniform to THA than to AF102B. For the five-monkey group at Best dose, accuracy increased 34% (THA) or 43% (AF102B) above baseline (P<0.05 for both drugs), respectively, with no significant change in RT and with minimal untoward effects. Cholinotherapy may improve divided attention in young and aged healthy primates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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