Fibrillar amyloid-β affects neurofibrillary changes but only in neurons already involved in neurofibrillary degeneration

J. Wegiel, Matthew Bobinski, M. Tarnawski, J. Dziewiatkowski, E. Popovitch, D. C. Miller, T. Wisniewski, J. Golomb, M. J. de Leon, B. Reisberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The aim of this study of the cerebral cortex of 8 non-demented elderly subjects and of 17 subjects in the severe stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD) (Global Deterioration Scale stage 7/Functional Assessment Staging procedure stage 7a-f) was to examine the relationships between amyloid-β (Aβ) deposits and neurofibrillary degeneration. The study shows that neuronal processes with neurofibrillary changes are detectable in only a minority of fibrillary plaques: from 31% to 49% of fibrillar plaques within frontal, temporal, parietal, limbic, occipital, and insular cortices. The correlations observed between the numerical densities of neurons with neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and the densities of Thioflavin-S-positive fibrillar plaques with neurofibrillary changes (r=0.61; P<0.01) indicate that neurofibrillary pathology in neocortical plaques reflects the topography and rate of neurofibrillary changes in neocortical neurons. The accumulation of abnormally phosphorylated tau in only some plaques indicates that fibrillar Aβ enhances paired helical filament accumulation locally only in dystrophic neurites already involved in neurofibrillary degeneration. The lack of correlation between the number of neurons with neurofibrillary changes and the number of all Thioflavin-S-positive fibrillar plaques (with and without neurofibrillary changes) suggests that β-amyloidosis does not contribute to initiation of neurofibrillary degeneration in neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-590
Number of pages6
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Amyloidosis beta
  • Fibrillar plaques
  • Morphometry
  • Neocortex
  • Neurofibrillary degeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


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