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Cholinergic Systems in Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

  • Yves Agid
  • Ann Graybiel
  • Merle Ruberg
  • Etienne Hirsch
  • Jean-Philippe Brandel
  • Pascale Cervera
  • Jorge Juncos
  • Stéphane Lehericy
  • Susanne Malessa
  • Gerhard Ransmayr
  • France Javoy-Agid
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 38A)

Abstract

Although the localization of cholinergic neurones in the central nervous system has been studied in extensive detail (Table 1), little is known as yet about their connections, and still less about their functions. Information deriving from experiments with animal models applies to a large extent to human brain as well, but more specific data on the localization and possible functions of neurones in humans can be obtained by taking advantage of selective lesions in the brains of patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Some studies have been performed to determine the nature and severity of cholinergic lesions in these diseases. The data are limited, however, because the most specific method of evaluation available until recently was the in vitro measurement of the activity of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the enzyme catalyzing acetylcholine synthesis. This method, while quantitative, does not distinguish between enzyme contained in cell bodies or nerve terminals, and cannot detect, within small structures, inhomogeneous distributions of these neuronal elements, or irregularities in their loss under pathological conditions. It is now possible to visualize cholinerigc cell bodies, fibers and varicosites with immunocytochemical techniques using antibodies directed specifically against human ChAT. In addition, this type data can be quantified by computerized image analysis.

Keywords

Muscarinic Receptor Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Cholinergic Neurone Ventral Striatum Progressive Supranuclear Palsy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yves Agid
    • 2
  • Ann Graybiel
    • 1
  • Merle Ruberg
    • 2
  • Etienne Hirsch
    • 2
  • Jean-Philippe Brandel
    • 2
  • Pascale Cervera
    • 2
  • Jorge Juncos
    • 2
  • Stéphane Lehericy
    • 2
  • Susanne Malessa
    • 2
  • Gerhard Ransmayr
    • 2
  • France Javoy-Agid
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Brain and Cognitive SciencesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.INSERM U. 289 et Service de Neurologie et NeuropsychologieHôpital de la Salpêtrière 47, Bd de l’HôpitalParis Cedex 13France

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