Aminergic systems in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease

Robert J. D'Amato, Richard M. Zweig, Peter J. Whitehouse, Gary L. Wenk, Harvey S. Singer, Richard Mayeux, Donald L. Price, Solomon H. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


Biochemical markers for serotoninegic and catecholaminergic neurons in frontal and temporal poles were examined post mortem in brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and the two combined. Binding of [3H]citalopram to serotoninergic uptake sites and levels of serotonin were Decemberreased by 40 to 50% in brains of persons in each disease category. In contrast, significant reductions of catecholaminergic markers were not detected. In all three disease groups, the choline acetyltransferase activity was reduced by 50 to 60%. Binding sites for adenosine (A1), muscarinic cholinergic, phencyclidine, β‐adrenergic, and calcium antagonist receptors were unchanged. We conclude that substantial damage to serotoninergic neurons occurs in persons with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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