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Trends Neurosci. 1999 Feb;22(2):67-74.

Abnormal regulation of corticopetal cholinergic neurons and impaired information processing in neuropsychiatric disorders.

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Dept of Psychology and Neuroscience Program, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.


Cholinergic neurons originating in the basal forebrain innervate all cortical areas and participate in the gating of cortical information processing. Aberrations in the excitability of cortical cholinergic inputs fundamentally alter the processing of sensory stimuli and higher processes, thereby advancing the development of major neuropsychiatric disorders. Cortical cholinergic deafferentation has been considered to be a major neuropathological variable that contributes to the development of age- and dementia-associated impairments in cognition. Conversely, it has been suggested that increases in the excitability of cortical cholinergic inputs mediate the abnormal cognitive processes that escalate into psychotic symptoms and contribute to addictive-drug-seeking behavior, anxiety and phobia. Abnormal regulation of the excitability of cortical cholinergic afferents represents a 'final common pathway' that mediates the manifestation of major neuropsychiatric disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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