Effect of tetrahydroaminoacridine, a cholinesterase inhibitor, on cognitive performance following experimental brain injury

Brian R. Pike, Robert J. Hamm, Meredith D. Temple, Deanna L. Buck, Bruce G Lyeth

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17 Scopus citations


An emerging literature exists in support of deficits in cholinergic neurotransmission days to weeks following experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI). In addition, novel cholinomimetic therapeutics have been demonstrated to improve cognitive outcome following TBI in rats. We examined the effects of repeated postinjury administration of a cholinesterase inhibitor, tetrahydroaminoacridine (THA), on cognitive performance following experimental TBI. Rats were either injured at a moderate level of central fluid percussion TBI (2.1 ± 0.1 atm) or were surgically prepared but not delivered a fluid pulse (sham injury). Beginning 24 h after TBI or sham injury, rats were injected (IP) daily for 15 days with an equal volume (1.0 ml/kg) of either 0.0, 1.0, 3.0, or 9.0 mg/kg THA (TBI: n = 8, 8, 10, and 7, respectively, and Sham: n = 5, 7, 8, 7, respectively). Cognitive performance was assessed on Days 11-15 after injury in a Morris water maze (MWM). Analysis of maze latencies over days indicated that chronic administration of THA produced a dose-related impairment in MWM performance in both the injured and sham groups, with the 9.0 mg/kg dose producing the largest deficit. The 1.0 and 3.0 mg/kg doses of THA impaired MWM performance without affecting swimming speeds. Thus, the results of this investigation do not support the use of THA as a cholinomimetic therapeutic for the treatment of cognitive deficits following TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-905
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes



  • Cholinergic
  • Cholinesterase
  • Morris water maze
  • Muscarinic
  • Rats
  • Tacrine (THA)
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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