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June 1984

Cerebellar Norepinephrine in Patients With Parkinson's Disease and Control Subjects

Author Affiliations

From the Human Brain Laboratory, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto (Drs Kish and Hornykiewicz and Ms Shannak); the University Hospital, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Dr Rajput); the Victoria Hospital, London (Dr Gilbert); and the Institute of Biochemical Pharmacology, University of Vienna (Dr Hornykiewicz).

Arch Neurol. 1984;41(6):612-614. doi:10.1001/archneur.1984.04210080020007

• Norepinephrine was measured in postmortem cerebellar cortex of 22 non-neurological control subjects and nine patients with Parkinson's disease, using the high-performance liquid chromatography method with amperometric detection. In all control subjects, substantial amounts of norepinephrine were found in cerebellar cortex. There was a moderate negative correlation between age of control subjects and cerebellar norepinephrine concentration. In the patients with Parkinson's disease, the cerebellar cortical norepinephrine levels were significantly below normal. This is in accord with previously reported reduced norepinephrine levels in locus ceruleus and other regions of the parkinsonian brain. Although the main symptoms of Parkinson's disease are primarily caused by disturbed basal ganglia (dopamine) function, cerebellar dysfunction related to norepinephrine may contribute to some abnormalities of motor performance in this disorder.

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