The role of dopaminergic midbrain in Alzheimer's disease: Translating basic science into clinical practice
D'Amelio, M.; Puglisi-Allegra, S.; Mercuri, N.
Pharmacological Research 130: 414-419
Mammalian brain cortical functions, from executive and motor functioning to memory and emotional regulation, are strictly regulated by subcortical projections. These projections terminate in cortical areas that are continuously influenced by released neurotransmitters and neuromodulators. Among the subcortical structures, the dopaminergic midbrain plays a pivotal role in tuning cortical functions that commonly result altered in many neurological and psychiatric disorders. Incidentally, extensive neuropathological observations support a strong link between structural alterations of the dopaminergic midbrain and significant behavioural symptomatology observed in patients suffering from Alzheimer 's disease(AD). Here, we will review recent progress on the involvement of the dopaminergic system in the pathophysiology of AD as well as the current therapeutic strategies targeting this system.