Author(s): Zanardi A, Leo G, Biagini G, Zoli M, Zanardi A, Leo G, Biagini G, Zoli M
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Abstract Impairment in cholinergic systems is a highly consistent finding in human dementia. Among cholinergic markers, marked decreases in nicotine binding have been most consistently observed in the telencephalic regions of demented patients and are thought to contribute to the cognitive deficits associated with ageing and age-related neurodegenerative diseases. New evidence that the cholinergic system has a specific pathogenic role in the neurodegenerative alterations of aged and, especially, demented patients is fast accumulating. Both in vivo and in culture, nicotine protects striatal, hippocampal and cortical neurons against the neurotoxicity induced by excitotoxic amino acids as well as the toxicity caused by beta-amyloid, the major component of senile plaques. Further support for the implication of nicotinic receptors in brain ageing is come from recent studies on transgenic animals lacking nicotinic receptor subtypes, which shed light on the mechanisms of nicotine neuroprotection and neurotoxicity.
This article was published in Toxicol Lett
and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism