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Neurology. 2001 Jan 9;56(1):127-9.

Altered expression of synaptic proteins occurs early during progression of Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Neurosciences, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.


The expression levels of three synaptic proteins (synaptophysin, synaptotagmin, and growth-associated protein 43 [GAP43]) in AD cases clinically classified by Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) score were analyzed. Compared with control subjects (CDR = 0), mild (early) AD (CDR = 0.5 to 1) cases had a 25% loss of synaptophysin immunoreactivity. Levels of synaptotagmin and GAP43 were unchanged in mild AD, but cases with CDR of >1 had a progressive decrement in these synaptic proteins. Thus, synaptic injury in frontal cortex is an early event in AD.

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