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August 1988

Reduced Activities of Thiamine-Dependent Enzymes in the Brains and Peripheral Tissues of Patients With Alzheimer's Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Cornell University Medical College, and the Dementia Research Service, Burke Rehabilitation Center, White Plains, NY.

Arch Neurol. 1988;45(8):836-840. doi:10.1001/archneur.1988.00520320022009

• A report of cell loss in the nucleus basalis of Meynert in patients with Wernicke-Korsakoff disease prompted the examination of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP)-dependent enzymes in the brain and peripheral tissues of patients with Alzheimer's disease. In these brains, the activities of the 2-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex were reduced more than 75% and those of transketolase more than 45%. Decreases occurred in histologically damaged and in relatively undamaged areas. Small but statistically significant abnormalities of transketolase, but not of 2-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex, were identified in red blood cells and cultured fibroblasts. Previous studies have shown deficiencies in the brain and variable effects in peripheral tissues on another TPP-dependent enzyme—the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. Activities of TPP-dependent enzymes appear to be deficient in the brain and perhaps in some peripheral tissues in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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