Nicotine and sensory memory in Alzheimer's disease: an event-related potential study.

C. Engeland, C. Mahoney, E. Mohr, V. Ilivitsky, V. Knott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The auditory mismatch negativity (MMN) event-related brain potential (ERP) reflects the storage of information in acoustic sensory memory. Thirteen patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), 6 receiving treatment with the cholinesterase inhibitor (ChEI) tacrine (tetrahydroaminoacridine, THA) and 7 receiving no treatment, were administered 2 mg of nicotine polacrilex and placebo. MMNs were recorded with 1- and 3-s interstimulus intervals pre- and postplacebo/nicotine administration. In nontreated patients, amplitudes were decreased from pre- to postplacebo recordings but remained stable in THA-treated patients. Comparison of pre- and postnicotine MMNs found amplitude increases with nicotine in nontreated but not THA-treated patients. MMN latencies were shortened by nicotine in both treatment groups. These exploratory findings suggest that nicotine-improved strength of acoustic sensory memory traces and speed of acoustic sensory discrimination in AD are differentially affected by chronic ChEI treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-234
Number of pages3
JournalBrain and cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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