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There is evidence to suggest an involvement of the K variant of the butyrylcholinesterase gene (BCHE) in dementia. We have examined the relationship between BCHE genotype and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) activity in autopsy brain tissue. We studied 164 autopsy cases, 144 with dementia and 20 controls, including 13 K homozygotes and 48 K heterozygotes, from three centres: Newcastle, Oxford and London. Mean BuChE activity in temporal cortex was 37% higher in K homozygotes than in wild-type homozygotes. Linear regression analysis, controlling for gender, diagnosis, age at death and study centre, showed that the number of BCHE-K alleles was associated with increasing BuChE activity (p=0.009).

Original publication




Journal article


Neurosci Lett

Publication Date





297 - 299


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Butyrylcholinesterase, Dementia, Female, Genotype, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Temporal Lobe