Galantamine Effects on Cognitive Function in Marijuana Users

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Yale University

Status and phase

Phase 1




Drug: Galantamine
Drug: Placebo

Study type


Funder types

Other U.S. Federal agency


MIREC (Registry Identifier)
P50DA009241 (U.S. NIH Grant/Contract)

Details and patient eligibility


To evaluate galantamine's effects on cognitive performance in marijuana users. Galantamine, an acetylcholine esterase inhibitor, is approved for treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Current marijuana users show impaired cognitive functioning, which predicts poor treatment response to behavioral treatments in this population. Whether cognitive impairment in marijuana users will improve with medication treatment has not been evaluated. We hypothesize that galantamine, compared to placebo, will improve cognitive performance in marijuana users.Galantamine, compared to placebo, will improve working memory, verbal learning/memory and response inhibition functions in marijuana users.

Full description

To summarize, marijuana users show impaired cognitive functioning, especially in working memory and verbal learning and memory functions. Impaired cognitive functioning predicts poor treatment response in marijuana users. Whether the cognitive impairments in marijuana users improve with cholinergic enhancers has not been evaluated. In this double-blind, parallel-group study, we are proposing to evaluate galantamine's effects on cognitive performance in marijuana users. Thirty subjects will first have an adaptation session to familiarize them with the study procedures including cognitive assessment. The adaptation session will be followed by a 10-day treatment period, in which subjects will be randomized to galantamine (8 mg/day) or placebo. On Day 4 or 5 and Day 9 or10 of each treatment phase subjects will have test sessions, where a battery of cognitive tests will be administered. The cognitive test that will be administered will include the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT) modules from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB): the Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) and the Stop Signal Test (SST). Currently this study is in data analysis with 30 completers. (April 2011)


29 patients




18 to 55 years old


Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

* Men and women between the ages of 18 and 55 who are dependent on or abuse marijuana, according to DSM-IV criteria; * History of marijuana use on the average of at least twice a week over a one-month period; * Current marijuana use, indicated by positive urine toxicology for marijuana; * No current medical problems and normal ECG; * For women, neither pregnant as determined by pregnancy screening nor breast feeding, and using acceptable birth control methods.

Exclusion criteria

* Current major psychiatric illnesses including mood, psychotic, or anxiety disorders; * Current dependence to other drugs of abuse or alcohol (except nicotine or marijuana dependence); * History of major medical illnesses including asthma or chronic obstructive lung disease, history or current gastrointestinal ulcer, hepatic or renal impairment and cardiac rhythm disturbances or other medical conditions that the study physician deems contraindicated for the subject to be in the study; * Use of other medications including a) drugs that slow heart rate (eg, beta-blockers),which may increase the risk of bradycardia and AV block and b) NSAIDs; increased potential for developing ulcers/active or occult gastrointestinal bleeding; * Known allergy to galantamine

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Double Blind

29 participants in 2 patient groups, including a placebo group

Active Comparator group
Galantamine is used for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease and various other memory
Drug: Galantamine
Sugar Pill
Placebo Comparator group
Sugar Pill
Drug: Placebo

Trial contacts and locations



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