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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Brain choline acetyltransferase and mental function in Alzheimer disease.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether higher brain levels of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) are associated with improved neuropsychological function in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD). DESIGN: Case series with single-blind post hoc analysis of biopsy specimens. SETTING: Urban hospital and medical school. PATIENTS: A consecutive sample of 8 patients with AD undergoing brain biopsy and surgical implantation of intraventricular pumps for administration of potential chemotherapeutic agents. INTERVENTIONS: Brain biopsy, surgical implantation of intraventricular pumps, and, in 1 patient, ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All patients underwent neuropsychological testing no more than 2 weeks before surgical biopsy. Levels of ChAT were determined in fresh brain tissue from biopsy samples. RESULTS: Significant positive correlations were found between ChAT levels and 2 neuropsychological test scores, Mini-Mental State Examination and the Logical Memory subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale. CONCLUSION: Degeneration of the cholinergic system in vivo correlates with decreasing cognitive function in patients with AD.[1]


  1. Brain choline acetyltransferase and mental function in Alzheimer disease. Baskin, D.S., Browning, J.L., Pirozzolo, F.J., Korporaal, S., Baskin, J.A., Appel, S.H. Arch. Neurol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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