Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 107, Issue 12, pp 1457–1468 | Cite as

In-vivo measurements of regional acetylcholine esterase activity in degenerative dementia: comparison with blood flow and glucose metabolism

  • K. Herholz
  • B. Bauer
  • K. Wienhard
  • L. Kracht
  • R. Mielke
  • O. Lenz
  • T. Strotmann
  • W.-D. Heiss

Summary.

Memory and attention are cognitive functions that depend heavily on the cholinergic system. Local activity of acetylcholine esterase (AChE) is an indicator of its integrity. Using a recently developed tracer for positron emission tomography (PET), C-11-labeled N-methyl-4-piperidyl-acetate (C-11-MP4A), we measured regional AChE activity in 4 non-demented subjects, 4 patients with dementia of Alzheimer type (DAT) and 1 patient with senile dementia of Lewy body type (SDLT), and compared the findings with measurements of blood flow (CBF) and glucose metabolism (CMRGlc). Initial tracer extraction was closely related to CBF. AChE activity was reduced significantly in all brain regions in demented subjects, whereas reduction of CMRGlc and CBF was more limited to temporo-parietal association areas. AChE activity in SDLT was in the lower range of values in DAT. Our results indicate that, compared to non-demented controls, there is a global reduction of cortical AChE activity in dementia.

Keywords: Dementia cholinergic system acetylcholine esterase positron emission tomography cerebral blood flow cerebral glucose metabolism. 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Herholz
    • 1
  • B. Bauer
    • 1
  • K. Wienhard
    • 1
  • L. Kracht
    • 1
  • R. Mielke
    • 1
  • O. Lenz
    • 1
  • T. Strotmann
    • 1
  • W.-D. Heiss
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck Institut für neurologische Forschung und Neurologische Universitätsklinik, Köln, Federal Republic of GermanyDE

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