Abstract: Preservation of brain nerve growth factor in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease

Arch Neurol. 2003 Aug;60(8):1143-8.

Mufson EJ, Ikonomovic MD, Styren SD, Counts SE, Wuu J, Leurgans S, Bennett DA, Cochran EJ, DeKosky ST.

Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush Presbyterian-St Luke’s Medical Center, 2242 W. Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. emufson@rush.edu

BACKGROUND: The status of nerve growth factor (NGF) levels during the prodromal phase of Alzheimer disease (AD), characterized by mild cognitive impairment (MCI), remains unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether cortical and/or hippocampal NGF levels are altered in subjects with MCI or different levels of AD severity.

DESIGN AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: An NGF enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay determined protein levels in the hippocampus and 5 cortical areas in people clinically diagnosed as having no cognitive impairment, MCI, mild AD, or severe AD.

SETTING AND PATIENTS: Subjects were from the Rush Religious Orders Study and the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (Pittsburgh, Pa). RESULTS: We found no changes in cortical or hippocampal NGF levels across groups; in MCI, levels did not correlate with an increase in choline acetyltransferase activity in these regions.

CONCLUSION: Brain NGF levels appear sufficient to support the cholinergic plasticity changes seen in MCI and remain stable throughout the disease course.

PMID: 12925373 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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