Differential Changes in Regional Brain Ganglioside and Neutral Glycosphingolipid Contents in Alzheimer’s Disease

  • N. M. K. Ng Ying Kin
  • L. H. Pan
  • J. H. Louvaris
  • Y. Robitaille
  • N. P. V. Nair
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 363)


Dementia of the Alzheimer type or Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a chronic organic disease of the brain affecting primarily the elderly population.1 It is characterized histopathologically by the intraneuronal accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles, deposits of neuritic plaques in the neuropil, and neuronal loss in specific regions of the forebrain.2 Neurochemically, multiple transmitter deficits in autopsy brain tissues have been reported.3 Since the sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipids, ganglyosides, have been found to be associated with various transmitter functions, e.g., cholinergic, 4 serotonergic5 and noradrenergic6 and they are also important neuronal membrane components with demonstrable neuronotrophic properties, 7 changes in brain ganglioside concentrations would probably occur. We have recently analysed the ganglioside contents of cortical tissues from different regional lobes of post-mortem brain specimens from AD and control subjects. For comparison purposes, we have also quantified the levels of neutral glycosphingolipids in these tissues, such neuroconstituents being associated with different brain cells, notably oligodendrocytes. Asialogangliosides present in these glycolipid fractions are also substrates for ganglioside synthesis.


Sialic Acid Neurofibrillary Tangle Neuritic Plaque Sialic Acid Content Brain Ganglioside 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. M. K. Ng Ying Kin
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. H. Pan
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. H. Louvaris
    • 1
    • 2
  • Y. Robitaille
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. P. V. Nair
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Douglas Hospital Research CentreVerdunCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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