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Lewy body disease: Thalamic cholinergic activity related to dementia and parkinsonism

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Iryna Ziabreva, Dr Clive Ballard, Dr Dag Aarsland, Professor Ian McKeith, Emeritus Professor Robert Perry, Emeritus Professor Elaine Perry


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Within the spectrum of Lewy body disease cognitive impairment Occurs in PD with dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Although neocortical cholinergic deficits are associated with cognitive impairments in PDD and DLB. no neurochemical study has been published describing the thalamic cholinergic activity whereas the thalamus plays a major role in modulating cortical activity. Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity was analyzed in reticular (Re), mediodorsal (MD) and centromedian (CM) thalamic nuclei in series of nine controls, five DLB with parkinsonism (DLB + P), five DLB without parkinsonism (DLB - P), six PD without dementia and 14 PDD cases. Significant reductions in ChAT were apparent in PDD as follows: in Re and MD nuclei compared with controls: in MD and CM nuclei compared with DLB + P; and in MD compared with PD. Increased ChAT activity was found in CM nuclei ill DLB + P compared with DLB - P. These findings show that significant thalamic presynaptic cholinergic deficits occur only in cases of combined cortical and subcortical neurodegeneration in which dementia developed after prolonged parkinsonism. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ziabreva I, Ballard CG, Aarsland D, Larsen JP, McKeith IG, Perry RH, Perry EK

Publication type: Note

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neurobiology of Aging

Year: 2006

Volume: 27

Issue: 3

Pages: 433-438

ISSN (print): 0197-4580

ISSN (electronic): 1558-1497


DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2005.02.004