Adrafinil disrupts performance on a delayed nonmatching-to-position task in aged beagle dogs

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Aug;76(1):161-8. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(03)00211-9.


Previous studies in humans and dogs have reported beneficial effects of adrafinil on specific cognitive functions. The effects in dogs are limited to a single study examining discrimination learning. We wanted to further explore the cognitive effects of adrafinil in dogs. The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of oral administration of adrafinil on visuospatial function in dogs. Eighteen aged beagle dogs were tested on a delayed nonmatching-to-position (DNMP) task 2 h following one of three possible treatments; 20 mg/kg of adrafinil, 10 mg/kg of adrafinil or a placebo control. All dogs were tested under each treatment for eight test sessions. A 2-day washout period was given between treatments and the order of treatments was varied. Treatment with 20 mg/kg of adrafinil produced a significant impairment in working memory as indicated by an increase in the number of errors over the 8-day test period. The disturbance of memory functions from adrafinil could be a result of increased noradrenergic transmission in the prefrontal cortex.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Hydroxamic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time / drug effects*
  • Reaction Time / physiology


  • Hydroxamic Acids
  • adrafinil