β-amyloid plaques: Stages in life history or independent origin?

Richard A. Armstrong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Several types of discrete β-amyloid (Aβ) deposit or senile plaque have been identified in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and Down's syndrome. The majority of these plaques can be classified into four morphological types: diffuse, primitive, classic and compact. Two hypotheses have been proposed to account for these plaques. Firstly, that the diffuse, primitive, classic and compact plaques develop in sequence and represent stages in the life history of a single plaque type. Secondly, that the different Aβ plaques develop independently and therefore, unique factors are involved in the formation of each type. To attempt to distinguish between these hypotheses, the morphology, ultrastructure, composition, and spatial distribution in the brain of the four types of plaque were compared. Although some primitive plaques may develop from diffuse plaques, the evidence suggests that a unique combination of factors is involved in the pathogenesis of each plaque type and, therefore, supports the hypothesis that the major types of Aβ plaque develop independently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-238
Number of pages12
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 1998

Keywords

  • β-amyloid
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • independent origin
  • life history
  • senile plaque

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