Subcortical Changes Following Ischaemic and Other Lesions of Cerebral Cortical Structures: Trophic Mechanisms and Neuronal Degeneration

  • M. V. Sofroniew
  • C. N. Svendsen
Conference paper


Clinical signs of dementia are generally accompanied by abnormal organic changes in the brain, including neuronal degeneration in specific cortical and subcortical regions. The processes leading to neuronal degeneration in dementia are not well understood, and the relative importance of degenerative dysfunction in cortical versus subcortical neuronal systems in giving rise to dementia is still unclear. Dementia may be caused by neurodegeneration of different origins, as in Alzheimer’s disease or ischaemic dementia, but the affected neurons may have characteristics that make them vulnerable to common features of different insults. For example, although Azheimer’s disease and ischaemic dementia might superficially seem quite different, both involve cortical structures that are uniquely rich in excitatory amino acid receptors, and excitotoxicity mediated by amino acid transmitters has been suggested to play a role in the neuronal cell death seen in both conditions [11,25]. Basic research that leads to a better understanding of neurodegenerative processes will form an important part of developing effective therapeutic strategies for dementia. In this context, experimental animal models constitute an important means of studying both the mechanisms underlying degenerative events, and their subsequent behavioural consequences.


Nerve Growth Factor Cholinergic Neuron Basal Forebrain Medial Septum Target Neuron 
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

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. V. Sofroniew
    • 1
  • C. N. Svendsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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