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December 6, 1985

Corticotropin-Releasing Factor-like Immunoreactivity in Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer TypeReduced Cortical and Striatal Concentrations

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry (Drs Bissette, Kilts, and Nemeroff) and Pharmacology (Drs Kilts and Nemeroff) and the Center for Aging and Human Development (Dr Nemeroff), Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; the Medical Research Council Brain Bank, Department of Neurological Surgery and Neurology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, England (Dr Reynolds); and the Psychiatric Research Center, University of Uppsala (Sweden) (Dr Widerlöv). Dr Widerlöv is now with the Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, University of Lund, S:t Lars Hospital, Lund, Sweden.

JAMA. 1985;254(21):3067-3069. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360210083036

The concentration of corticotropin-releasing factor-like immunoreactivity (CRF-LI) in the human central nervous system was measured by radioimmunoassay in postmortem tissue of control patients and in those with histologically confirmed senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (SDAT). In the controls, CRF-LI was found in high concentrations in the hypothalamus and frontal cortex (Brodmann's area 10), in moderate concentrations in amygdala, substantia innominata, temporal and parietal cortex (Brodmann's areas 38 and 7), and the caudate nucleus, and in low concentrations in posterior hippocampus and nucleus accumbens. A marked reduction in the concentration of CRF-LI was observed in the frontal and temporal cortex (approximately 50%) as well as in the caudate nucleus (approximately 70%) in the SDAT group. The present findings suggest that neurons containing corticotropinreleasing factor are pathologically altered in SDAT, in addition to the previously described cholinergic and somatostatinergic neuronal degeneration.

(JAMA 1985;254:3067-3069)