, Volume 105, Issue 2-3, pp 269-277

Neurotransmitter amino acids in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Alzheimer's disease

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We measured the CSF and plasma levels of glutamate, glutamine, aspartate (only in plasma), asparagine, glutamine, glycine and GABA in 37 patients with Alzheimer's disease and in 32 matched controls. We used an ion-exchange chromatography method. When compared to controls, AD patients had higher CSF glutamate and glycine levels, higher plasma levels of aspartate and glycine, and lower plasma levels of asparagine and GABA. When expressed relative to CSF proteins, CSF levels of glutamate and glycine remained higher, and CSF asparagine levels were lower in AD patients than in controls. The CSF levels of the amino acids measured were not correlated with the clinical features of AD with the exception of plasma GABA levels with duration of the disease. Our results might suggest a possible pathogenetic role of neurotransmitter amino acids in AD.

Accepted December 2, 1997; received August 30, 1997