Clinical Research

Reduced dopamine-beta-hydroxylase activity in Alzheimer's disease

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.282.6258.93 (Published 10 January 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:93
  1. Alan J Cross,
  2. Timothy J Crow,
  3. Elaine K Perry,
  4. Robert H Perry,
  5. Garry Blessed,
  6. Bernard E Tomlinson

    Abstract

    The activity of the noradrenergic marker enzyme dopamine-beta-hydroxylase was measured in brains removed postmortem from control patients and patients with Alzheimer's disease. Enzyme activity was decreased in the frontal and temporal cortices and hippocampus in patients with Alzheimer's disease, but was within the normal range in patients with depression, multiinfarct dementia, and terminal coma.

    The decrease in enzyme activity in Alzheimer's disease may reflect an abnormality of cortical noradrenergic fibres in some patients with the disease.

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