Since the discovery of the degeneration of acetylcholine-containing neurons of the basal forebrain in Alzheimer's disease, researchers have sought to further elucidate the pathophysiology of this dementing illness. Many recent efforts have concentrated on the role of neuropeptides in Alzheimer's disease, and the marked reduction of somatostatin concentrations in the cerebral cortex have been replicated by several investigators. More recently, reductions in the concentration of other neuropeptides, including corticotropin-releasing factor, vasopressin, and Beta-endorphin have been demonstrated in Alzheimer's disease. In addition, evidence of a possible pathologic role for the excitatory amino acid neurotransmitters, including glutamate and aspartate and the classical neurotransmitters such as serotonin, have appeared. Rationale treatment strategies created on the basis of these neurotransmitter alterations should result in the development of novel pharmacotherapies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health