Neurofibrillary tangle distribution in the cerebral cortex of parkinsonism-dementia cases from Guam

differences with Alzheimer's disease

Patrick R. Hof, Daniel P. Perl, Arthur J. Loerzel, John Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Parkinsonism-dementia together with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a highly prevalent disorder among the native Chamorro population of Guam and is accompanied by severe widespread neurofibrillary tangle formation. In the present study we compared the regional and laminar distribution of neurofibrillary tangles in the cerebral cortex of 5 Guamanian parkinsonism-dementia cases to 9 Caucasian Alzheimer's disease cases. Although in both diseases the superior frontal and inferior temporal cortex were affected to a comparable degree, there was a striking difference in the laminar distribution of neurofibrillary tangles. Neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer's disease are known to be more numerous in layers V-VI than in layers II-III of frontal and temporal cortex, however in the Guam cases, the opposite distribution was observed with most of the tangles located within layer II and the superior part of layer III and relatively low tangle density in layers V-VI. Interestingly, in both conditions, the hippocampal pyramidal layer showed a comparable degree of degeneration. Moreover no amyloid deposits and neuritic plaques were observed in the Guam brains, whereas they were frequent in the Alzheimer's disease cases. Previous studies have suggested that the clinical symptomatology observed in patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease is related to the dramatic loss of specific corticocortically projecting neurons in the neocortex. The present data on Guam parkinsonism-dementia further support this hypothesis, although the set of corticocortical connections affected in Guam cases might differ from that observed in Alzheimer's disease, which may contribute to some extent to the different clinical symptoms of the dementia observed in Guamanian patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-313
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Volume564
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 1991
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Guam
Neurofibrillary Tangles
Parkinsonian Disorders
Cerebral Cortex
Dementia
Alzheimer Disease
Amyloid Plaques
Temporal Lobe
Neocortex
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Frontal Lobe
Neurons
Brain
Population

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Corticocortical connection
  • Dementia
  • Guam
  • Neurofibrillar tangle
  • Parkinsonism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Neurofibrillary tangle distribution in the cerebral cortex of parkinsonism-dementia cases from Guam : differences with Alzheimer's disease. / Hof, Patrick R.; Perl, Daniel P.; Loerzel, Arthur J.; Morrison, John.

In: Brain Research, Vol. 564, No. 2, 15.11.1991, p. 306-313.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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