Clonidine treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Arch Neurol. 1989 Apr;46(4):376-8. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1989.00520400030015.


A loss of cortical noradrenergic innervation may contribute to the intellectual deterioration in Alzheimer's disease. To test the hypothesis that noradrenergic replacement may confer symptomatic benefit, a double-blind, placebo-controlled therapeutic trial with clonidine hydrochloride (Catapres), a centrally active noradrenergic receptor agonist, was undertaken in eight patients with the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. No statistically significant changes in cognitive function were found over a range of doses, including those that produced clinically observable side effects. These preliminary results indicate a need for alternative noradrenergic replacement strategies in Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Clonidine / adverse effects
  • Clonidine / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Clonidine