Molecular Imaging of the Cholinergic System in Alzheimer and Lewy Body Dementias: Expanding Views.

TitleMolecular Imaging of the Cholinergic System in Alzheimer and Lewy Body Dementias: Expanding Views.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsKanel P, Bedard M-A, Aghourian M, Rosa-Neto P, Soucy J-P, Albin RL, Bohnen NI
JournalCurr Neurol Neurosci Rep
Date Published2021 09 20
KeywordsAlzheimer Disease, Brain, Cholinergic Agents, Humans, Lewy Body Disease, Molecular Imaging

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Brain cholinergic denervation is a major feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). We reviewed the topography assessed by a cholinergic molecular imaging study in these two major types of dementia. A small meta-analysis directly comparing vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) PET scans of AD vs. DLB patients is presented.RECENT FINDINGS: VAChT PET studies showed evidence of extensive cortical cholinergic denervation in both forms of dementia, while multiple subcortical structures were also in DLB. Novel analysis revealed evidence of metathalamic denervation in AD, and epithalamus, premotor/sensorimotor cortical, and striatal losses in DLB. Topographically distinct cortical and subcortical cholinergic lesions can distinguish AD and DLB, and new structures have been highlighted here. Differential vulnerability of specific cholinergic projections is likely associated with specific clinical features of these disorders. Improved understanding of the mechanisms and roles of cholinergic neurotransmission in regions with cholinergic deficits may lead to symptomatic therapies.

Alternate JournalCurr Neurol Neurosci Rep
PubMed ID34545424
Grant ListP01 NS015655 / NH / NIH HHS / United States
R01 NS070856 / NH / NIH HHS / United States
P50 NS091856 / NH / NIH HHS / United States
I01 RX001631 / RX / RRD VA / United States