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Convergent cholinergic activities in aging and Alzheimer's disease

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Elaine Perry, Dr Janet Kerwin, Dr Margaret Piggott, Dr Jennifer Court, Professor Pamela Shaw, Emeritus Professor Robert Perry

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Abstract

Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities have been examined postmortem in a series of 66 individuals with no evidence of CNS disease, ranging in age from 24 gestational weeks to 95 years and in 33 cases of Alzheimer's disease (AD) aged 57-89 years. In the normal human hippocampus a striking and highly significant age-related decline in ChAT occurred from middle to old age (between 40 and 100 years); a trend apparent at a later stage and to a lesser extent in the hippocampal gyrus. In both areas enzyme activity in AD was inversely related to age at death; reductions compared with the normal were on average 70-80% in the 60-70 year old groups compared with 30-40% in the 80-90 year old group. A similar trend was apparent with respect to acetylcholinesterase (AchE) histochemical activity associated with fibers and terminals (predominantly cholinergic and concentrated in CA3 and 4 of the hippocampus) but not with reactive perikarya (considered to be noncholinergic) present in both hippocampus and cortex. These data indicate that the normal aging human hippocampus may constitute a useful model for investigating the dysfunction or degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons in AD.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Perry EK, Johnson M, Kerwin JM, Piggott MA, Court JA, Shaw PJ, Ince PG, Brown A, Perry RH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neurobiology of Aging

Year: 1992

Volume: 13

Issue: 3

Pages: 393-400

Print publication date: 01/05/1992

ISSN (print): 0197-4580

ISSN (electronic): 1558-1497

Publisher: Elsevier

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0197-4580(92)90113-C

DOI: 10.1016/0197-4580(92)90113-C


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