Title
Brain region-specific monoaminergic correlates of neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer's disease Brain region-specific monoaminergic correlates of neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer's disease
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Journal of Alzheimer's disease
Volume/pages
41(2014) :3 , p. 819-833
ISSN
1387-2877
ISI
000339329100019
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) are present during the disease course of nearly all AD patients and consist of psychosis, agitation/aggression, and depression, among others. Given their detrimental consequences regarding life expectancy, cognition, and socio-economic costs, it is essential to elucidate their neurochemical etiology to facilitate the development of novel and effective pharmacotherapeutics. This study attempted to identify brain region-specific monoaminergic correlates of NPS by measuring the levels of eight monoamines and metabolites in nine relevant postmortem brain regions of 40 behaviorally characterized AD patients, i.e., dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), (nor)epinephrine and their respective metabolites 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid, 5-hydroxy-3-indoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG), using RP-HPLC-ECD. Likewise, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score correlates of monoaminergic neurotransmitter alterations were calculated. As a result, MMSE scores, used as a measure of dementia severity, correlated positively with hippocampal 5-HIAA levels as well as with 5-HT levels of the superior temporal gyrus and cerebellar cortex. Furthermore, hippocampal 5-HIAA levels inversely correlated with agitation scores, whereas thalamic MHPG levels comparably did with the presence of hallucinations. Finally, in the cerebellar cortex, DOPAC/DA ratios, indicative of DA turnover, correlated with physically agitated behavior while MHPG levels correlated with affective disturbances. These findings support the assumption that specific NPS features in AD might be (in)directly related to brain region-specific monoaminergic neurotransmitter alterations. Additionally, the effect of AD pathology on neurochemical alterations in the cerebellum requires further examination due to its important but underestimated role in the neurochemical pathophysiology of NPS in AD.
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