A Controlled Double‐Blind Study of High‐Dose Dihydroergotoxine Mesylate (HydergineR) in Mild Dementia

Ole J. Thienhaus, Beverly G. Wheeler, Sandra Simon, Frank P. Zemlan, James T. Hartford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


In a double‐blind study of 41 outpatients aged 55 to 80 years with mild memory impairment, the efficacy of dihydroergotoxine mesylate (DEM, HydergineR) at 6 mg per day, administered orally, was tested during a twelve‐week period. Specific etiologies for the amnesic syndrome were ruled out by history, physical examination, and laboratory tests. Subjects with a Hamilton Depression Scale rating above 18, ie, possible pseudodementia, were excluded. Physician rating of memory, employing the Inventory of Psychic and Somatic Complaints in the Elderly (IPSC‐E), indicated statistically significant improvement of memory function in DEM treated subjects (N = 22) v those on placebo (N = 19), (F = 3.34; df = 1,39; P < .04). In contrast, structured testing of recent memory using digit symbol substitution and Zahlenverbindungs test (ZVT) showed improvement in both groups (P < .001) with no significant intergroup differences (P < .10). Out results indicate that in cases of mild, though subjectively distressing impairment, DEM at higher dosages may help to enhance short‐term memory function. 1987 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-223
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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