We investigated histamine concentration in post-mortem brain samples of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD, n = 24), multiple system atrophy (MSA, n = 8) and age-matched controls (n = 27). Histamine concentrations were significantly increased in the putamen (to 159% of the control mean), substantia nigra pars compacta (to 201%), internal globus pallidus (to 234%) and external globus pallidus (to 200%), i.e. in areas which play a crucial role in the motor behaviour and which show typical functional alterations in PD. In MSA no significant differences were seen. Tele-methylhistamine (histamine metabolite) concentrations were unchanged in PD. These results indicate that histamine concentration, but not its metabolism is increased in PD, but not in MSA. This finding may have implications in developing new drug therapies for PD and in differential diagnosis between PD and MSA.
- Multiple system atrophy
- Parkinson's disease