Cerebrospinal fluid acetylcholine and choline in vascular dementia of Binswanger and multiple small infarct types as compared with Alzheimer-type dementia

J Neural Transm (Vienna). 1996;103(10):1211-20. doi: 10.1007/BF01271206.


The acetylcholine (ACh) and choline (Ch) concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid were investigated in patients with vascular dementia of the Binswanger type (VDBT) or multiple small infarct type (MSID) as compared with patients with Alzheimer-type dementia (ATD). The ACh concentration in patients with ATD was found to be significantly lower than in controls (73%, p < 0.0001), and showed a significant positive correlation with dementia scale scores (rs = 0.63, p < 0.03). The Ch concentration in the CSF of ATD patients was approximately the same as in controls. In VDBT/MSID patients, the ACh concentration was significantly lower than in controls (p < 0.001) also showing a significant positive correlation with dementia scale scores (rs = 0.62, p < 0.02), but was significantly higher than in ATD patients (p < 0.001). Moreover, the Ch concentration in VDBT/MSID patients was significantly higher than in controls (p < 0.001) or ATD patients (p < 0.001). These results suggest that simultaneous determination of ACh and Ch concentrations in CSF may be useful for differentiating VDBT/MSID from ATD and that increasing the ACh level using cholinergic agents may be a beneficial therapeutic strategy for the treatment of ATD as well as VDBT/MSIT, and is worthy of further investigation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Biomarkers
  • Choline / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Cholinergic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dementia, Multi-Infarct / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Dementia, Multi-Infarct / diagnosis
  • Dementia, Vascular / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Dementia, Vascular / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholinergic Agents
  • Choline
  • Acetylcholine