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Sleep and memory problems: acetylcholine in some neurodegenerative diseases, use of an extended-release formulation of galantamine

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The paper reviews the literature dedicated to an association between sleep and memory problems and acetylcholine (AC) levels. Moderate impairments of circadian rhythms can develop with aging; however, these changes become quite significant in dementia, which impairs the sleep-wake cycle. Low AC levels during slow-wave sleep are critical for declarative (verbal) memory consolidation. An abnormal nocturnal reduction in cholinergic activity can worsen memory problems and provoke sleep deterioration. The results of the studies suggest that the type of an AC esterase inhibitor and the time of its administration are important for the development of these problems. Galantamine ensures high daytime concentrations of AC and its low nighttime levels, which enables the tone of cholinergic system to be maximally approaches physiological circadian rhythms. This may be essential to the improvement of sleep and memory in patients with dementia.

About the Author

I V Litvinenko

Department of Nervous System Diseases, S.M. Kirov Military Medical Academy, Saint Petersburg


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For citations:

Litvinenko I.V. Sleep and memory problems: acetylcholine in some neurodegenerative diseases, use of an extended-release formulation of galantamine. Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Psychosomatics. 2012;4(2):100-105. (In Russ.)

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