Choline Acetyltransferase Activity in Vascular Dementia and Stroke

Sally I. Sharp, Paul T. Francis, Mark S. J. Elliott, Rajesh N. Kalaria, Natasha Bajic, Tibor Hortobagyi, Clive G. Ballard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aim: Alterations in cholinergic activity have not been systematically studied in types of cerebrovascular disease. We examined cholinergic function at postmortem, focussing on stroke and vascular dementia (VaD). Methods: Post-mortem brain tissue was studied from 61 patients with stroke or VaD (13 infarct dementia; 8 stroke/no dementia; 11 sub-cortical ischaemic VaD, SIVD; 29 VaD and concurrent Alzheimer's disease, AD), 12 patients with AD and 23 controls. Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) was measured in Brodmann areas (BA) 9 and 20/21. Results: There were significant reductions in ChAT activity in patients with VaD and concurrent AD compared to age-matched controls (BA9: t = 2.7, p = 0.009; BA20/ 21: t = 4.67, p = 0.000). In patients with infarct dementia, there was a significant 27% increase in ChAT activity in BA9 (t = 2.1, p = 0.047), but not in BA20/ 21 (t = 1.67, p = 0.106), compared to the age-matched control group. There was no relationship between ChAT activity and cognition in the VaD patients. Conclusions: Loss of cholinergic function is only evident in VaD patients with concurrent AD. A novel increase in cholinergic activity was identified in patients with infarct dementia, which may create important new treatment opportunities. Copyright (C) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233 - 238
Number of pages6
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


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