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Effects of Donepezil Measured by Functional MRI


This study will examine the sensitivity of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to detect brain changes in healthy older adults at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease who take the drug donepezil (Aricept). Participants with a family history of Alzheimer's are eligible for this study. Participants without a family history of Alzheimer's can be enrolled to serve as a control group.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
60 Years 75 Years All Yes
May 2014
February 27, 2021

  • Normal cognitive function
  • Seeing and hearing ability adequate for neuropsychological testing
  • High-risk group only: family history of Alzheimer's (parent, sibling, or child with Alzheimer's)
  • Low-risk group only: no family history of Alzheimer's (no Alzheimer's in a parent, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, or half-sibling)

  • Current or past history of neurological illnesses/conditions
  • Current or past history of head trauma with significant loss of consciousness
  • Current or past history of medical illnesses/conditions that may affect brain function
  • Severe psychiatric disorder
  • Substance abuse
  • Unstable or severe cardiovascular disease or asthmatic condition
  • History of stroke or transient ischemic attack

Donepezil (brand name Aricept) is a medication commonly prescribed to treat Alzheimer's symptoms. Participants with a family history of Alzheimer's will receive either 5 mg of donepezil for 4 weeks and 10 mg for 20 weeks or a placebo. Participants without a family history of Alzheimer's will undergo the study evaluations but will not receive the study drug. Researchers will measure donepezil's effects on the brain using fMRI, a brain imaging method.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Cleveland Clinic Center for Brain Health
Cleveland Ohio 44195 Recruiting

The Cleveland Clinic

  • National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Name Role Affiliation
Stephen M. Rao, PhD Principal Investigator The Cleveland Clinic

Name Phone Email
Diamond Haynes 216-445-9009


Effects of Donepezil HCL on Task-Activated fMRI Brain Activation in Healthy Older Adults at Genetic Risk for Alzheimer's Disease