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The pharmacology of galanthamine and its analogues

Harvey, A L (1995) The pharmacology of galanthamine and its analogues. Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 68 (1). pp. 113-128. ISSN 0163-7258

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Galanthamine is an alkaloid found in the bulbs of snowdrops and several Amaryllidaceae plants. At submicromolar concentrations, it inhibits acetylcholinesterase activity, but it is much less potent against butyrylcholinesterase activity. Galanthamine has been used in anaesthetics to reverse neuromuscular paralysis by tubocurarine-like muscle relaxants, but it is a tertiary amine that gets into the brain to cause central effects. Galanthamine is being studied as a possible therapeutic agent in Alzheimer's disease because of its central cholinergic effects. Positive effects have been demonstrated in several learning and memory tests in animals.