Cell Counts in the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert and the Supraoptic Nucleus in Alzheimer-Diseased Brains
In autopsy studies of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cases, a profound reduction of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity in cerebral cortex and hippocampus brain homogenates has been observed by several groups. The loss of ChAT activity correlates with intellectual impairment and degree of histopathological change. In brain biopsy studies, Bowen and his group have shown that the ChAT deficiency was accompanied by loss of acetylcholine synthesizing ability regardless of substrate concentration (11). Catecholaminergic and GABAergic systems have also been implicated in this condition although their functional alterations are so far generally considered to be smaller and only found in a fraction of AD pa- tients. Recently, Bowen and his group reported that the uptake of serotonin, the content of indoleamines and the number of serotonin receptors are reduced in Alzheimer brains (3). Finally, somatostatin-like immunoreactivity is reduced in brain (4, 9) and CSF (17) of Alzheimer patients. Clearly, a cholinergic functional deficit in AD is now well-established but its importance relative to other neurotransmitter deficits is now being questioned.
KeywordsLarge Neuron Supraoptic Nucleus ChAT Activity Alzheimer Change Rich Section
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