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Donepezil Effect on Visual Attention and Training

Information source: Université de Montréal
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Healthy

Intervention: Donepezil administration (Drug); Placebo administration (Drug)

Phase: Phase 0

Status: Recruiting

Sponsored by: Université de Montréal

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Elvire Vaucher, PhD, Study Director, Affiliation: Université de Montréal
Jocelyn Faubert, PhD, Study Director, Affiliation: Université de Montréal
Isabelle Legault, PhD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Université de Montréal
Mira Chamoun, MSc, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Université de Montréal

Overall contact:
Mira Chamoun, MSc, Phone: 514-343-6162, Email: mira.chamoun@umontreal.ca


The present proposal investigates the role of the cholinergic system (the neurotransmitter acetylcholine) in improving vision and visual attention. Vision results from a complex processing of particular stimuli of the visual field. Attention enhances and prolongs the neural representations of visual input in the visual cortex. It has recently been shown that attention in the visual cortex depends on cholinergic mechanisms. The action of acetylcholine in the visual cortex consists in enhancement of the responsiveness to thalamocortical inputs, depression of local neuronal connections or extrastriate feedback projections and induction of gamma synchronisation. The investigators hypothesize that these effects are associated with long-term changes in functional connectivity in the visual cortex, visual attention and visual learning (improvement of the visual capacities). In the present proposal, the investigators will test whether the administration of donepezil (Aricept, 5mg), a drug that increases the level of acetylcholine in the brain, will enhances the perceptual-cognitive abilities of young adult subjects. Perceptual-cognitive performance will be assessed in a multiple object tracking (MOT) task in a 3D automatic virtual environment. MOT is a task where observers are asked to maintain attentional focus on a limited number of preselected subgroup of elements in a dynamic scene. Multifocal attentional mechanisms are necessary to process the information. The task will be tested five time at one week interval to test whether donepezil and training improved the task performance of the subject, i. e. lead to perceptual learning. This study could help establish an intervention procedure to improve visual performance of subjects that need it.

Clinical Details

Official title: Donepezil Effect on Visual Attention and Perceptual Training in Healthy Young Adults

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Basic Science

Primary outcome:

Measure of the speed threshold, baseline

Change from baseline of the speed threshold at 1 week

Change from baseline of the speed threshold at 2 weeks

Change from baseline of the speed threshold at 3 weeks

Change from baseline of the speed threshold at 4 weeks

Detailed description: Stages of a given perceptual-cognitive task (from Faubert and Sidebottom, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 2012, 6, 85-102): 1. a predetermined number of spheres (typically eight) are presented in a 3D dimensional virtual volumetric cube space. The spheres are typically all identical. 2. a subset of spheres (typically four) is indexed via highlighting for a brief period of 1 s. 3. the spheres return to their original color and start moving within the restricted 3D virtual space. During this movement, the spheres can collide and consequently suddenly change direction, and they can cross over others, thus occluding their view. 4. the spheres stop moving after a predetermined time, and the observer has to identify the spheres that were initially indexed with halos. The subject is then given feedback on the response by having the spheres identified by revealing the appropriate indexed stimuli. The main task starts at a given speed, and if all four spheres are not correctly identified, the next trial will be slower. If the four spheres are correctly identified, then the next trial will be faster. Trials are repeated like this following a staircase procedure, and ultimately, a speed threshold is established.


Minimum age: 20 Years. Maximum age: 35 Years. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- good general health

- 17 < body mass index < 25

- visual acuity 6/6

- visual stereoscopy > 50

- standard visual field

Exclusion Criteria:

- pregnancy or breast feeding

- use of any drug or St John's wort

- smoking

- asthma

- pulmonary obstruction

- cardiovascular impairment

- attention troubles

- ocular diseases

- epilepsy

- lactose intolerance

- absorption of grapefruit juice

Locations and Contacts

Mira Chamoun, MSc, Phone: 514-343-6162, Email: mira.chamoun@umontreal.ca

School of optometry / Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec H3T 1P1, Canada; Recruiting
Mira Chamoun, M.Sc, Phone: (514) 343 6162, Email: mira.chamoun@umontreal.ca
Mira Chamoun, MSc, Principal Investigator
Additional Information

Starting date: January 2013
Last updated: January 23, 2013

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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