Loss of Choline Acetyltransferase Activity in Normal Aging and in Senile Dementia

  • Peter Davies
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 113)


The goal of neurochemical studies on human brain is to find out how various sub-populations of neurons are affected by aging and disease. Neurons are classified according to the substance used for chemical transmission, and the groups can then be investigated by measuring the activities of enzymes specifically involved in the formation or degradation of the transmitter. Neurons which use acetylcholine as the transmitter are among the easiest to investigate in human brain, because the enzyme choline acetyltrans-ferase is found uniquely in such cells (Kuhar, 1976). There is also abundant evidence to show that the enzyme activity is stable in the brain for periods of days following death, a feature which greatly facilitates studies of autopsied human tissues (reviewed by MacKay, Davies, Dewav and Yates, 1978).


Cholinergic Neuron Senile Dementia Neuritic Plaque ChAT Activity Choline ACETYLTRANSFERASE Activity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA

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