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Brain Res. 2000 Mar 6;858(1):67-70.

Low plasma epinephrine in elderly female subjects of dementia of Alzheimer type.

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Department of Geriatrics, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, 65 Tsuruma-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya, Japan.


One of the robust features of brain pathologies of dementia of Alzheimer type (DAT) is the impairment of the hippocampus, especially the cholinergic system. Several animal studies have suggested that the cholinergic system in the hippocampus is involved in the control of the plasma level of catecholamines and glucose. The stimulation of the hippocampal cholinergic system has resulted in the elevation of plasma catecholamines and glucose in rats. In the present study, we measured the plasma level of epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, glucose, and insulin during a fasting state in the morning in hospitalized DAT (n=66), vascular dementia (VD) (n=28), or non-demented (ND) (n=21) females (mean age DAT=82. 49+/-4.98, VD=82.86+/-5.86, ND=82.95+/-7.77, respectively). Statistical analysis showed that the plasma level of epinephrine during a fasting state in DAT subjects was significantly lower than that of ND subjects; however, in VD subjects the level of epinephrine was not different from that of ND subjects. Other values did not differ significantly among the groups.

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