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Brain choline acetyltransferase and mental function in Alzheimer disease.

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By Baskin DS, Browning JL, Pirozzolo FJ, Korporaal S, • www.ProHealth.com • September 1, 1999


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether higher brain levels of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) are associated with improved neuropsychological function in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD).

DESIGN: Case series with single-blind post hoc analysis of biopsy specimens.

SETTING: Urban hospital and medical school.

PATIENTS: A consecutive sample of 8 patients with AD undergoing brain biopsy and surgical implantation of intraventricular pumps for administration of potential chemotherapeutic agents.

INTERVENTIONS: Brain biopsy, surgical implantation of intraventricular pumps, and, in 1 patient, ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All patients underwent neuropsychological testing no more than 2 weeks before surgical biopsy. Levels of ChAT were determined in fresh brain tissue from biopsy samples.

RESULTS: Significant positive correlations were found between ChAT levels and 2 neuropsychological test scores, Mini-Mental State Examination and the Logical Memory subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale.

CONCLUSION: Degeneration of the cholinergic system in vivo correlates with decreasing cognitive function in patients with AD.

Source: Arch Neurol 1999 Sep;56(9):1121-3
PMID: 10488813, UI: 99416916

(Neurosurgery Section, Department of Surgery, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA. dbaskin@tmh.tmc.edu)






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