Reduction in cholinergic activity evident in PET images
Brain images of 44 patients with Parkinson’s disease, out of whom 17 had a history of repeated falls, and 15 health subjects were obtained by PET techniques using markers of dopaminerigc and cholinergic activity. Cholinergic activity was significantly lower in the cerebral cortex of patients vs subjects, especially in the patients with a history of repeated falls (patients who had fallen -12.3%, patients who had not -6.6%), whereas there were no differences between the patients who had fallen and those who had not in terms of dopaminergic activity. A 11.8% reduction in cholinergic activity in the thalamus was recorded only in the patients who had fallen.
Source: Bohnen N et al Neurology 2009; 17: 1670-1676