Findings from previous studies prompted the launch of the ROMEMA study. On this page we provide an overview of the most relevant scientific studies on roflumilast and cognition.

Animal research
  • PDE-4 inhibitors have been shown to improve cognitive function in several animal species, including executive functioning/planning in non-human primates. Read article 1 here and article 2 here.

  • Moreover, PDE-4 inhibitors improved brain plasticity and memory in rodent models of aging and Alzheimer’s disease, as recently demonstrated for roflumilast. Read the entire article here

  • Interestingly, a recent preclinical mouse study of tauopathy showed that PDE-4 inhibition also promoted the clearance of aggregated tau and, correspondingly, improved cognition. Read the entire article here

Clinical research
  • We (Maastricht University) conducted a study that showed that a single administration of roflumilast improved short-term verbal memory in healthy young volunteers. It is important to note that the effective dose of roflumilast in this study was 100 μg. This is 5 times lower than the clinically approved dose for the treatment of acute exacerbations in COPD. In addition, the usual common side effects (such as nausea or vomiting) were not observed at this dose. Read the entire article here here.

  • In the same study with the young healthy adults, we showed that this enhanced effect was accompanied by an enhanced brain P600 peak (this is an event-related brain potential) as measured by electroencephalography (EEG) during the verbal word learning task. Read the entire article here.

  • Finally, we recently demonstrated that a single administration of specifically the 100 μg dose of roflumilast improved delayed recall of verbal memory in healthy elderly participants. Read the entire article here. This last study served as a starting point for the current ROMEMA study in which roflumilast is chronically administered to MCI patients.

Other interesting articles / interviews
  • Major steps research for multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s disease. Read the article here (dutch).

  • Listen here to a BNR interview with Prof. Dr. Jos Prickaerts (researcher ROMEMA and Maastricht University) about roflumilast, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s disease (dutch).

  • “Looking for a pill against Alzheimer’s.” Read the article here (dutch). 

  • “My goal is to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.” Read the article here (dutch).

“Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose”

Kevin Arnold