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Cholinergic Agonists and the Treatment of Alzheimers Disease

[ Vol. 2 , Issue. 4 ]


William S. Messer and Jr.   Pages 353 - 358 ( 6 )


Over the past decade, considerable effort was focused on the development of muscarinic and nicotinic agonists for the treatment of Alzheimers disease. The rationale for developing muscarinic agonists was based on the role of acetylcholine in learning and memory function and the consistent neurochemical finding that cholinergic neurons degenerated in Alzheimers patients. Thus far, the clinical utility of muscarinic agonists remains unproven, yet recent studies suggest that muscarinic agonists might be useful in treating not only memory deficits, but also psychiatric disturbances and some of the underlying causes of Alzheimers disease, such as the deposition of Aβ. In addition, nicotinic receptors may play a role in cognitive function and help regulate the toxicity of amyloid precursor protein. Ultimately, cholinergic agonists may prove useful in the treatment of Alzheimers disease.


alzheimers disase, cholinergic agonists, muscarinic receptors, talsa cl idine, sabcome line, nicotinic receptors


Department ofPharmacology, The University of Toledo, 2801 W. Bancroft St., Toledo,OH, 43606, USA

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