[en] OBJECTIVES: To search for compounds possibly useful for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. METHODS: Alkaloid fractions from the roots, stems and leaves of Triclisia sacleuxii (Menispermaceae) and pure bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloids isolated from the roots (phaeanthine, N-methylapateline, 1,2-dehydroapateline and gasabiimine) were assessed for acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity. KEY FINDINGS: All extracts and compounds tested inhibited acetylcholinesterase to varying degrees; the leaf tertiary alkaloid fractions and the root quaternary alkaloid fractions exhibited the strongest inhibitory potential (90% at 0.1 mg/ml). The leaf tertiary alkaloid fraction was selected for further analysis (the quaternary alkaloids, which are too polar for absorption and brain distribution, were presumed to be clinically uninteresting). TLC bioautography using Ellman's reagent allowed the detection of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and the isolation of the major active constituent, which was identified as lindoldhamine, a one-bridged bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid. Lindoldhamine displayed high acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity with a 50% inhibition concentration in the micromolar range. CONCLUSIONS: All T. sacleuxii alkaloid fractions tested exhibited anti-acetylcholinesterase activity; isolated bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloids showed weak-to-high inhibition depending on their structural features. Structure modification could provide interesting derivatives with enhanced anti-acetylcholinesterase activity.