Lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) acetylcholine (ACh) and choline (Ch) levels were measured in patients with Huntington's chorea (N=11), Parkinson's disease (N=8), and subjects at risk for Huntington's chorea (N=4), and all three groups were found not to differ significantly from normal controls (N=10). The values found for lumbar CSF ACh and Ch levels in the normal subjects were comparable with previously reported values. The use of physostigmine, a cholinesterase inhibitor, in collecting the CSF samples did not appear to make a difference with regard to ACh and Ch concentrations. Evidence suggesting a ventricular-lumbar gradient, with lumbar CSF Ch concentration being less than ventricular CSF Ch concentration, was found. Finally, ACh levels in CSF did not correlate with corresponding Ch levels.
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