Implications of multiple transmitter system lesions for cholinomimetic therapy in Alzheimer's disease

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Abstract

This chapter discusses the implications of multiple transmitter system lesions for cholinomimetic therapy in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Because of the profound cholinergic deficits in AD, most therapeutic and animal model studies have focused on this system. The cholinergic lesion-induced learning and memory deficits are found to be readily reversed by cholinomimetic agents. Low doses of physostigmine and other cholinomimetics have repeatedly been shown to reverse n. basalis Meynert (nbM) lesion-induced learning and memory deficits. The experiments described in the chapter are based on the hypothesis that the failure of all or some of the other transmitter systems affected in AD contributes to the symptoms of AD and possibly to the efficacy of cholinomimetics in exerting a beneficial effect. In addition to the cholinergic deficits, the noradrenergic, serotonergic, somatostatinergic, and corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) systems are among the most severely affected in AD. This chapter describes the necessity for treating AD as a multitransmitter system disease requires a multitransmitter approach toward its treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-346
Number of pages14
JournalProgress in Brain Research
Volume84
Issue numberC
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1990

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