Senile dementia of the Alzheimer type is accompanied by hypertrophy of galanin axons, reservation of receptors and tissue specific expression of the galanin gene in the nucleus basalis Meynert
The cholinergic neurons of the basal nucleus of Meynert (bnM) (Meynert, 1872) is a major source of cholinergic input to the cerebral cortex in animals and in man. It is now well established that cholinergic cells in the bnM undergo varying degrees of degenerative change with neuron loss in neurodegenerative diseases, such as senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (SDAT) (Davies and Maloney, 1976; Whitehouse et al., 1982; Wilcock et al., 1982; Bowen et al., 1983) and in Parkinson’s disease (Gaspar et al., 1984; Perry et al., 1985; Chan-Palay, 1988 a,b). Although it is clear that there are multiple factors affecting neurotransmitters in the Alzheimer brain, there is evidence that reduced cholinergic neurotransmission is related to the cognitive dysfunctions, including deficits in learning and memory (Mastropaolo et al., 1988). This association is certainly not a simple one but probably involves multiple chemical systems interacting with acetylcholine, such as galanin (Chan-Palay et al., 1990) or nerve groeth factor (Ernfors et al. 1990).
KeywordsCholinergic Neuron Basal Forebrain Basal Nucleus Senile Dementia Cholinergic Cell
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