Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders - Original Article

Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 115, Issue 11, pp 1557-1562

Abnormal short latency afferent inhibition in early Alzheimer’s disease: a transcranial magnetic demonstration

  • Raffaele NardoneAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Christian Doppler Clinic, Paracelsus Private Medical University SalzburgDepartment of Neurology, “F. Tappeiner” Hospital Email author 
  • , Jürgen BergmannAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Christian Doppler Clinic, Paracelsus Private Medical University Salzburg
  • , Martin KronbichlerAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Christian Doppler Clinic, Paracelsus Private Medical University Salzburg
  • , Alexander KunzAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Christian Doppler Clinic, Paracelsus Private Medical University Salzburg
  • , Stefanie KleinAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Christian Doppler Clinic, Paracelsus Private Medical University Salzburg
  • , Francesca CaleriAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, “F. Tappeiner” Hospital
  • , Frediano TezzonAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, “F. Tappeiner” Hospital
  • , Gunther LadurnerAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Christian Doppler Clinic, Paracelsus Private Medical University Salzburg
  • , Stefan GolaszewskiAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Christian Doppler Clinic, Paracelsus Private Medical University Salzburg

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Abstract

The pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) appears to involve several different mechanisms, the most consistent of which is an impairment of cholinergic neurotransmission; however, there is controversy about its relevance at the early stage of disease. A transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) protocol based on coupling peripheral nerve stimulation with motor cortex TMS (short latency afferent inhibition, SAI) may give direct information about the function of some cholinergic pathways in the human motor cortex. We evaluated SAI in a group of patients with early diagnosis of AD and compared the data with that from a control group. The amount of SAI was significantly smaller in early AD patients than in controls. This study first provides physiological evidence that a central cholinergic dysfunction occurs in the earlier stages of AD. Identification of SAI abnormalities that occur early in the course of AD will allow earlier diagnosis and treatment with cholinergic drugs.

Keywords

Alzheimer’s disease Cholinergic neurotransmission Transcranial magnetic stimulation Afferent inhibition