Alzheimers disease and cognition

At GalR1, galanin inhibits the release of hormones or neurotransmitters, affecting memory (Bartfai et al. 1993). Galanin acts as a postsynaptic hyperpolarizing substance to reduce LTP (Mazarati et al. 1992, 1998, 2000, 2001). One of the most intriguing features of galanin neurobiology is the overexpression of galaninergic fibres around the few surviving cholinergic cell bodies in autopsy material from patients with Alzheimer's disease, primarily in cholinergic basal forebrain neurones (Chan-Palay 1988; Kohler et al. 1989; Mufson et al. 1998, 2000). One explanation for this phenomenon may be that galanin acts as a trophic factor in this area, promoting growth and survival of some ACh-containing neurones. Since there is a very large loss of cholinergic cells in the Alzheimer's disease brain, factors like galanin, which may influence the survival and function of those cells that project to the hippocampus and play a major role in cognitive function, is of great importance.

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