Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthorMargaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephenLurieMD PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: It has been nearly 20 years
since the inception and integration of the cholinergic hypothesis,1 the only approach that has so far produced drugs
approved for treating Alzheimer disease (AD). The study by Dr Davis and colleagues2 is the first attempt to explore the temporal relationship
between progressive declines in key cholinergic markers and memory in AD.
The authors report that choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and acetylcholinesterase
(AChE) activities remain normal until the late stages of AD and suggest that
the link between cholinergic dysfunction and the onset of the characteristic
symptoms is therefore weak. However, caution must be exercised when interpreting
data using ChAT and AChE as markers of cholinergic function.
Bartus RT, Emerich DF. Cholinergic Markers in Alzheimer Disease. JAMA. 1999;282(23):2208-2209. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-23-jbk1215