It has been described that cholinergic and histaminergic potentiation stimulate learning and memory in animals with and without cognitive deficits. The stimulation of the histaminergic system activates cholinergic neurons that innervate the hippocampus and cortex, which seems to underlie the behavioural effects elicited by histamine release. The interactions between these two systems suggest that pharmacological activation of the histaminergic system couls alleviate the cholinergic deficit associated with Alzheimer's disease which seems to be the major cause of cognitive decline. This interpretation is supported by the fact that tacrine (the only drug able to produce an improvement in the symptomatology of the disease), besides being an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (which is supposed to be the base of its efficacy) is also an excellent inhibitor of histamine N-methyl transferase, the enzyme responsible for histamine metabolism in brain. This project proposes the establishment of new correlations between histaminergic system, cholinergic system and cognitive functions, in search of pharmacological treatments that elicit maximal cholinergic activation and cognitive enhancement
|Effective start/end date||1/01/99 → 31/12/01|
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