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Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Aug;158(8):1319-21.

Sensory gating deficit expressed by a disturbed suppression of the P50 event-related potential in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Bonn, Sigmind-Freud-Str. 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany. jessen@uni-bonn.de



Disturbed sensory gating has been related to attention deficit and greater distractibility in patients with schizophrenia, and dysfunction of the alpha-7 subunit of the cholinergic nicotinic receptor has been discussed as its biological basis. Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a cholinergic deficit, and postmortem studies have reported alpha-7 receptor loss in patients with Alzheimer's disease. In this study, the authors tested whether sensory gating is disturbed in patients with Alzheimer's disease.


Suppression of the P50 event-related potential following the second click of a double-click paradigm, a measure of sensory gating, was assessed in 17 Alzheimer's disease patients and 17 comparison subjects.


Alzheimer's disease patients showed less P50 suppression following the second click relative to the comparison subjects.


Disturbed sensory gating might result from cholinergic dysfunction and possibly from alpha-7 nicotinic receptor loss in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Prospective studies should investigate the relationship between sensory gating deficit and behavioral disturbances in Alzheimer's disease patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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