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Neuropsychobiology. 1987;17(4):199-205.

Effects of scopolamine (0.25-0.75 mg i.m.) on the quantitative EEG and the neuropsychological status of healthy volunteers.

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Center for Neuropsychoactive Drugs, University of Genoa, Italy.


There has been clinical and experimental evidence that cholinergic compounds and precursors of choline are potentially useful in the treatment of dementia. Anticholinergic compounds have also been proposed as a possible acute model for pharmaco-EEG studies focussed on CNS aging. Single doses of scopolamine (0.25-0.75 mg i.m.) and a matching placebo were administered to 8 young healthy volunteers. Quantitative EEG recordings and neuropsychological testing were performed in baseline conditions prior to and 30, 90 and 120 min after drug administration. Scopolamine induced a dose-related increase of relative power in low- and high-frequency components and a decrease in the range 8.0-13.5 Hz and in total signal power. These modifications were found to be limited to the posterior scalp electrode derivations and were observed from the 90-min control onwards. Concomitantly, there was a significant impairment in the subjects' response to neuropsychological testing after the administration of 0.50 and 0.75 mg of scopolamine. At a dose of 0.75 mg, volunteers complained about subjective symptoms which were definitely unpleasant. The effects of this dose on the EEG and the neuropsychological status did not differ significantly from those observed after a dose of 0.50 mg. As regards dose and tolerance, 0.50 mg of scopolamine administered intramuscularly appears to be a suitable dose for pharmaco-EEG studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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