Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • JoAnn TschanzEmail author
  • Elizabeth K. Vernon
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1622


ACh; Cholinergic system


Acetylcholine has been identified as a neurotransmitter substance since the mid-1920s. It is the neurotransmitter substance present at the neuromuscular junction and also innervates structures of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems (Feldman et al. 1997; Iversen et al. 2008). In the brain, cholinergic neurons have a wide distribution. Projections emanate from the basal forebrain in the medial septal nucleus and terminate in the hippocampus and limbic cortex. Among other areas receiving cholinergic input are the neocortex, olfactory bulbs, amygdala, neostriatum (caudate nucleus and putamen), the hypothalamus, and various regions in the brain stem (Feldman et al. 1997).

Acetylcholine is synthesized from the precursors Acetyl CoA and choline in a chemical reaction involving the catalytic enzyme, choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). The presence of this enzyme has been used as a marker to locate cholinergic neurons. Acetylcholine...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUtah State UniversityLoganUSA
  2. 2.Center for Epidemiologic StudiesUtah State UniversityLoganUSA