Cerebrospinal fluid levels of biomarkers and activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase in AD patients before and after treatment with different AChE inhibitors
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In order to evaluate the biochemical effects of long-term treatment with inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), we measured the activities of AChE and butyry1cholinesterase (BuChe) and the concentrations of beta-amyloid (1-42), tau and phosphorylated tau proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). A total of 91 patients suffering from probable AD of mild to moderate degree were treated for 6 months with donepezil (n=59), galantamine (n=15), rivastigmine (n=10), or placebo (n=7). AChE activity in CSF was significantly increased after treatment with donepezil and galantamine; the opposite was observed in the rivastigmine-treated group. Untreated patients did not show any AChE activity variation. BuChE did not show any change in any of the groups studied. Mean values of beta-amyloid(1-42), total tau and phosphorylated tau also did not vary significantly. We conclude that AChE inhibitors induce different effects on CSF AChE activity, while other CSF biomarkers are not significantly affected by treatment.