D-Cycloserine treatment of Alzheimer disease

C. Randolph, J. W. Roberts, M. C. Tierney, D. Bravi, M. M. Mouradian, T. N. Chase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Degeneration of cortical glutamatergic projections may contribute to the cognitive decline in Alzheimer disease (AD). To evaluate whether 1glutamate system stimulation might confer symptomatic benefit, we administered D-cycloserine, a putative partial indirect agonist at certain N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors, to 12 patients with probable AD. The patients (seven men, five women) had a mean age of 65 ± 8.4 years; Mini Mental State Examination scores ranged from 15 to 25. A dose escalation phase, in which cycloserine was given in daily oral doses from 25 to 500 mg (total of six dose levels, 1 week per dose), was followed by a 'best dose' crossover comparison with placebo under double-blind conditions. The crossover phase consisted of 2 weeks of cycloserine and 2 weeks of placebo, separated by a 1-week washout period. We observed no significant or consistent effect on neuropsychological outcome measures. The results suggest that short-term potentiation of NMDA-mediated glutamatergic transmission may not prove useful in the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-205
Number of pages8
JournalAlzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Cycloserine
  • Glutamate
  • N-methyl-D-aspartate

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