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      Repeated administration of an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor attenuates nicotine taking in rats and smoking behavior in human smokers

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          Abstract

          Tobacco smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death worldwide and current smoking cessation medications have limited efficacy. Thus, there is a clear need for translational research focused on identifying novel pharmacotherapies for nicotine addiction. Our previous studies demonstrated that acute administration of an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) attenuates nicotine taking and seeking in rats and suggest that AChEIs could be repurposed for smoking cessation. Here, we expand upon these findings with experiments designed to determine the effects of repeated AChEI administration on voluntary nicotine taking in rats as well as smoking behavior in human smokers. Rats were trained to self-administer intravenous infusions of nicotine (0.03 mg kg −1 per 0.59 ml) on a fixed-ratio-5 schedule of reinforcement. Once rats maintained stable nicotine taking, galantamine or donepezil was administered before 10 consecutive daily nicotine self-administration sessions. Repeated administration of 5.0 mg kg −1 galantamine and 3.0 mg kg −1 donepezil attenuated nicotine self-administration in rats. These effects were reinforcer-specific and not due to adverse malaise-like effects of drug treatment as repeated galantamine and donepezil administration had no effects on sucrose self-administration, ad libitum food intake and pica. The effects of repeated galantamine (versus placebo) on cigarette smoking were also tested in human treatment-seeking smokers. Two weeks of daily galantamine treatment (8.0 mg (week 1) and 16.0 mg (week 2)) significantly reduced smoking rate as well as smoking satisfaction and reward compared with placebo. This translational study indicates that repeated AChEI administration reduces nicotine reinforcement in rats and smoking behavior in humans at doses not associated with tolerance and/or adverse effects.

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          Most cited references 73

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          Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales

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            Signs and symptoms of tobacco withdrawal.

            To test the validity, magnitude, and clinical significance of the signs and symptoms of tobacco withdrawal defined by DSM-III, both observed and reported signs and symptoms were measured in 50 smokers during two days of ad lib smoking and then during the first four days of abstinence. Observer and subject ratings of the DSM-III symptoms of craving for tobacco, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and restlessness increased after cessation. In addition, bradycardia, impatience, somatic complaints, insomnia, increased hunger, and increased eating occurred after cessation. The frequency and intensity of these symptoms varied across subjects; however, the average distress from tobacco withdrawal was similar to that observed in psychiatric outpatients. Subjects who had more withdrawal discomfort were more tolerant to the cardiovascular effects of nicotine. Subjects who had more withdrawal discomfort did not have a lower rate of smoking cessation.
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              Cholinesterase inhibitors for Alzheimer's disease.

              Since the introduction of the first cholinesterase inhibitor (ChEI) in 1997, most clinicians and probably most patients would consider the cholinergic drugs, donepezil, galantamine and rivastigmine, to be the first line pharmacotherapy for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.The drugs have slightly different pharmacological properties, but they all work by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter associated with memory, by blocking the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. The most that these drugs could achieve is to modify the manifestations of Alzheimer's disease. Cochrane reviews of each ChEI for Alzheimer's disease have been completed (Birks 2005, Birks 2005b and Loy 2005). Despite the evidence from the clinical studies and the intervening clinical experience the debate on whether ChEIs are effective continues. To assess the effects of donepezil, galantamine and rivastigmine in people with mild, moderate or severe dementia due to Alzheimer's disease. The Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group's Specialized Register was searched using the terms 'donepezil', 'E2020' , 'Aricept' , galanthamin* galantamin* reminyl, rivastigmine, exelon, "ENA 713" and ENA-713 on 12 June 2005. This Register contains up-to-date records of all major health care databases and many ongoing trial databases. All unconfounded, blinded, randomized trials in which treatment with a ChEI was compared with placebo or another ChEI for patients with mild, moderate or severe dementia due to Alzheimer's disease. Data were extracted by one reviewer (JSB), pooled where appropriate and possible, and the pooled treatment effects, or the risks and benefits of treatment estimated. The results of 13 randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trials demonstrate that treatment for periods of 6 months and one year, with donepezil, galantamine or rivastigmine at the recommended dose for people with mild, moderate or severe dementia due to Alzheimer's disease produced improvements in cognitive function, on average -2.7 points (95%CI -3.0 to -2.3), in the midrange of the 70 point ADAS-Cog Scale. Study clinicians blind to other measures rated global clinical state more positively in treated patients. Benefits of treatment were also seen on measures of activities of daily living and behaviour. None of these treatment effects are large. There is nothing to suggest the effects are less for patients with severe dementia or mild dementia, although there is very little evidence for other than mild to moderate dementia.More patients leave ChEI treatment groups, approximately 29 %, on account of adverse events than leave the placebo groups (18%). There is evidence of more adverse events in total in the patients treated with a ChEI than with placebo. Although many types of adverse event were reported, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, were significantly more frequent in the ChEI groups than in placebo. There are four studies, all supported by one of the pharmaceutical companies, in which two ChEIs were compared, two studies of donepezil compared with galantamine, and two of donepezil compared with rivastigmine. In three studies the patients were not blinded to treatment, only the fourth, DON vs RIV/Bullock is double blind. Two of the studies provide little evidence, they are of 12 weeks duration, which is barely long enough to complete the drug titration. There is no evidence from DON vs GAL/Wilcock of a treatment difference between donepezil and galantamine at 52 weeks for cognition, activities of daily living, the numbers who leave the trial before the end of treatment, the number who suffer any adverse event, or any specific adverse event. There is no evidence from DON vs RIV/Bullock of a difference between donepezil and rivastigmine for cognitive function, activities of daily living and behavioural disturbance at two years. Fewer patients suffer adverse events on donepezil than rivastigmine. The three cholinesterase inhibitors are efficacious for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. It is not possible to identify those who will respond to treatment prior to treatment. There is no evidence that treatment with a ChEI is not cost effective. Despite the slight variations in the mode of action of the three cholinesterase inhibitors there is no evidence of any differences between them with respect to efficacy. There appears to be less adverse effects associated with donepezil compared with rivastigmine. It may be that galantamine and rivastigmine match donepezil in tolerability if a careful and gradual titration routine over more than three months is used. Titration with donepezil is more straightforward and the lower dose may be worth consideration.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Transl Psychiatry
                Transl Psychiatry
                Translational Psychiatry
                Nature Publishing Group
                2158-3188
                January 2016
                19 January 2016
                1 January 2016
                : 6
                : 1
                : e713
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction, Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia, PA, USA
                [2 ]Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia, PA, USA
                [3 ]Translational Neuroscience Program, Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia, PA, USA
                [4 ]Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia, PA, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania , 125 South 31st Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. E-mail: hschmidt@ 123456nursing.upenn.edu
                Article
                tp2015209
                10.1038/tp.2015.209
                5068882
                26784967
                Copyright © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Categories
                Original Article

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry

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