Age-associated Memory Impairment: A Role for Catecholamines

Neurology. 1990 Mar;40(3 Pt 1):526-30. doi: 10.1212/wnl.40.3_part_1.526.


Age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) is a recently defined clinical state which describes loss of memory function in otherwise healthy persons age 50 and over. This is a relatively modest cognitive impairment thought to be common enough to be a feature of normal aging. There is considerable interest among memory researchers, and in the pharmaceutical industry, to establish the neurochemical basis and develop effective treatment for this condition. As in studies of dementia, much attention is focused on cholinergic function in relation to AAMI, with less emphasis on other neurochemical systems, such as those containing catecholamines. Diminished catecholamine function is implicated in dementing illness of the aged and may also be important in AAMI. This article proposes a role for catecholamines in AAMI and discusses possible treatment strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Catecholamines / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged


  • Catecholamines