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Stereologic analysis of hippocampal Alzheimer's disease pathology in the oldest-old: evidence for sparing of the entorhinal cortex and CA1 field
DA - 20050408 IS - 0014-4886 LA - eng PT - Journal Article SB - IM Institution : Service of Old Age Psychiatry, University of Lausanne School of Medicine, 1008 Prilly, Lausanne, Switzerland SAPHIRID:48201
Several neuropathologic analyses postulate that Alzheimer disease (AD) in the oldest-old is associated with substantial neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) formation in the CA fields of the hippocampus and neuronal loss confined to the entorhinal cortex. All of these studies have measured densities, rather than absolute numbers, and most do not take into account the potential interaction between the above pathological hallmarks in a global multivariate analysis. We present here a stereologic analysis of AD-related pathology in 12 oldest-old individuals including a complete assessment of total NFT, neuron numbers and amyloid volume in entorhinal cortex, CA fields, and dentate gyrus. The progression of NFT numbers and amyloid volume across the different Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) groups was significantly slower in these cases compared to previously reported younger cases. Although patients with mild and moderate dementia showed significantly lower mean neuron numbers compared to CDR 0-0.5 cases, there was a marked overlap in individual values among CDR groups. A modest proportion of the variability in CDR scores was explained by NFT numbers in the CA2 field (18.1%) and the dentate gyrus (17.3%). In contrast, neither Nissl-stained neuron numbers nor total amyloid volume in the areas studied significantly predicted cognitive status. These data indicate that the occurrence and progression of AD-related pathologic changes are not an unavoidable consequence of aging. They also suggest that dementia in extreme aging depends more on the damage of hippocampal subdivisions commonly less affected than on severe NFT formation and neuronal loss in the CA1 field and entorhinal cortex
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