Huperzine A, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor with neuroprotective qualities, is suspected to aid in the improvement of memory functioning in patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II investigation of the effect of Huperzine A on memory function after moderate to severe TBI as compared to placebo. We explored the effects of Huperzine A on transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-induced neurophysiologic markers, electroencephalography (EEG) event related potentials (P50 and P300), and seizure prevalence. The safety and tolerability of Huperzine A was also examined.
Recruitment for this study closed in July 2018 and data analysis is ongoing.
This four site, randomized, parallel design, double blind, placebo controlled, 10-week trial study funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), aimed to evaluate the effect of donepezil on verbal memory problems among adults with TBI in the subacute or chronic recovery period. The Texas Institute for Rehabilitation Research led this trial, with Indiana University and Moss Rehabilitation serving as sites along with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Recruitment for this study closed in September 2018 and data analysis is ongoing.
If the MEMRI-TBI-D Study demonstrates that donepezil advances memory performance among persons with TBI, the quality of life among these individuals and their families will improve. Information regarding the efficacy and safety of donepezil on functionally important verbal memory deficits, other cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms, functional performance, and community participation will directly affect the way healthcare providers serve persons with memory problems after TBI. This study will provide urgently needed information regarding pharmacological treatment of posttraumatic memory deficits in this population and bridge gaps in the current evidence base regarding such treatments. Since donepezil is available in a generic form, it also offers promise of becoming a treatment option that is affordable to many persons with TBI and their families.