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Changes of Biogenic Amines and Their Metabolites in Postmortem Brains from Patients with Alzheimer-Type Dementia


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Heii Aral, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Juntendo University, 2–1–1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113, Japan.


Abstract: Noradrenaline (NA), 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-ethylamine (dopamine, DA), 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin, 5-HT), homovanillic acid (HVA), and 5-hydroxy-indoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were measured in 22 regions of postmortem brains from four histologically verified cases with Alzheimer-type dementia (AID) and nine histologically normal controls. Compared with the controls, concentrations of 5-HT and 5-HIAA in the ATD brains were significantly reduced in nine regions (superior frontal gyrus, insula, cingulate gyrus, amygdala, putamen, medial and lateral segments of globus pallidus, substantia nigra, lateral nucleus of thalamus) and in eight regions (amygdala, substantia innominata, caudate, putamen, medial and lateral segments of globus pallidus, medial and lateral nuclei of thalamus), respectively. NA concentrations of the ATD brains were significantly reduced in six regions (cingulate gyrus, substantia innominata, putamen, hypothalamus, medial nucleus of thalamus, raphe area). In contrast, significant reductions of DA and HVA concentrations in the ATD brains were found only in putamen and amygdala, respectively. The 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio in the ATD brains decreased significantly in locus coeruleus, while the HYA/DA ratio increased significantly in putamen and medial segment of globus pallidus. These findings suggest that the serotonergic and noradrenergic systems are affected, while the dopaminergic system is relatively unaffected in ATD brains.