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      Loss of Cholinergic Pathways in Vascular Dementia of the Binswanger Type

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          We sought to determine the changes in the cholinergic pathways, which project from the nucleus basalis of Meynert (nBM) and travel in the subinsular region, in vascular dementia of the Binswanger type (VDBT) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The subinsular regions were examined in 6 autopsied brains with VDBT, 5 brains with AD and 4 control brains without any neurologic diseases. The cholinergic pathway was labeled either by histochemistry for acetylcholine esterase (AChE), a degradatory enzyme of ACh, or by immunohistochemistry for choline acetyltransferase, its synthetic enzyme. The numerical density of nBM neurons did not differ significantly between these groups (163 ± 49 in the VDBT, 105 ± 82 in the AD and 198 ± 76 in the control groups), but with a tendency towards a decrease in the AD group. The subinsular cholinergic fibers were impaired, with relative preservation of the nBM neurons in VDBT, whereas both the subinsular cholinergic fibers and the nBM neurons were degraded in AD. These results indicate that the cholinergic pathway is damaged not only in AD, but also in VDBT, and may further provide a pharmacological basis for treatment with AChE inhibitors in VDBT.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Alzheimer disease: evidence for selective loss of cholinergic neurons in the nucleus basalis.

          The nucleus basalis of Meynert provides diffuse cholinergic input to the neocortex. When compared with an age- and sex-matched control, the nucleus basalis from a patient with Alzheimer disease demonstrated substantial reduction of neurons. Loss of this neuronal population may represent an anatomical correlate of the well-documented cholinergic derangement in Alzheimer disease.
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            Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia: loss of neurons in the basal forebrain

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              Loss of neurons in the nucleus basalis of Meynert in Alzheimer's disease, paralysis agitans and Korsakoff's disease


                Author and article information

                Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord
                Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
                S. Karger AG
                May 2005
                29 April 2005
                : 19
                : 5-6
                : 282-288
                aDepartment of Neurology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, and bDepartment of Neurology, Kyoto Min-I-Ren Second Central Hospital, Kyoto, Japan
                84553 Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2005;19:282–288
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, References: 32, Pages: 7
                Original Research Article


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