Revisiting the cholinergic hypothesis in the development of Alzheimer's disease

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Craig, Laura
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience, 2008
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia affecting the elderly population today; however, there is currently no accurate description of the etiology of this devastating disorder. No single factor theory has been demonstrated as being causative; however, an alternative theory suggests that the interaction of multiple risk factors is responsible for AD. In this thesis I present data suggesting a neuroprotective role for acetylcholine during aging. Using a rat model of cholinergic depletion of the medial septum, I explored the effects of four common risk factors for AD (stress, seizures, stroke and circadian dysfunction) targeted at the hippocampus and examined the effects on measures of hippocampal dependent (water maze) and hippocampal independent (fear conditioning) memory. Here, I propose a role for acetylcholine- mediated compensatory mechanisms in the functional recovery observed following subthreshold insults similar to those commonly observed in the elderly.
Alzheimer's disease -- Research , Acetylcholine -- Research , Brain -- Aging , Cholinergic mechanisms