Density and cross-sectional areas of axons in the olfactory tract in control subjects and Alzheimer's disease: an image analysis study

Richard A. Armstrong, Anila B. Syed, C.U.M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective. Using an image analysis system to determine whether there is loss of axons in the olfactory tract (OT) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Design. A retrospective neuropathological study. Patients Nine control patients and eight clinically and pathologically verified AD cases. Measurements and Results. There was a reduction in axon density in AD compared with control subjects in the central and peripheral regions of the tract. Axonal loss was mainly of axons with smaller (<2.99 µm2) myelinated cross-sectional areas. Conclusions. The data suggest significant degeneration of axons within the OT involving the smaller sized axons. Loss of axons in the OT is likely to be secondary to pathological changes originating within the parahippocampal gyrus rather than to a pathogen spreading into the brain via the olfactory pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008



  • Alzheimer's disease
  • olfactory tract
  • axon density
  • axon cross-sectional area
  • parahippocampal gyrus
  • corpora amylacea

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