Cholinergic dysfunction, neurodegeneration, and amyloid-beta pathology in neurodegenerative diseases

Teodora Petrova, Camila Orellana, Vesna Jelic, Anne-Rita Oeksengaard, Jon Snaedal, Peter Høgh, Birgitte Bo Andersen, Mala Naik, Knut Engedal, Lars-Olof Wahlund, Daniel Ferreira

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Cholinergic dysfunction is central in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). The electroencephalography-based acetylcholine index (EEG-Ach index) has been proposed as a biomarker of cholinergic dysfunction. However, it is unclear how the EEG-Ach index relates to amyloid-beta pathology and neurodegeneration. We investigated the association between the EEG-Ach index and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid-beta, CSF total tau, cortical thickness, and hippocampal volume from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and cognition. A total of 127 patients with different neurodegenerative diseases were studied. The EEG-Ach index was calculated from quantitative EEG using statistical pattern recognition. The EEG-Ach index was associated with hippocampal volume and cortical thickness in frontal, temporal, and occipital cortices. Cross-sectional sub-analyses based on a small sample suggests that the EEG-Ach index increases the closest to AD dementia, downstream to amyloid-beta pathology, CSF total tau, and hippocampal volume. We conclude that cholinergic dysfunction correlates with atrophy in brain areas important for AD pathogenesis, and this association is more prominent in the dementia stage. These results together with previous studies from this project suggest that the EEG-Ach index may be a useful biomarker for cholinergic dysfunction, with value for differential diagnosis of dementia and monitoring patients at the dementia stage.

TidsskriftPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Tidlig onlinedato17 maj 2020
StatusUdgivet - 30 aug. 2020

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