Is the clustering of neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer's patients related to the cells of origin of specific cortico-cortical projections?

Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The spatial pattern of cellular neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) was studied in the supra- and infragranular layers of various cortical regions in cases of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The objective was to test the hypothesis that NFT formation was associated with the cells of origin of specific cortico-cortical projections. The novel feature of the study was that pattern analysis enabled the dimension and spacing of NFT clusters along the cortical ribbon to be estimated. In the majority of brain regions studied, NFT occurred in clusters of neurons which were regularly spaced along the cortical strip. This pattern is consistent with the predicted distribution of the cells of origin of specific cortico-cortico projections. Mean NFT cluster size varied from 250 to > 12800 microns in different cortical tissues suggesting either variation in the size of the cell clusters or a dynamic process in the development of NFT in relation to these cell clusters. The formation of NFT in cell clusters which may give rise to the feed-forward and feed-back cortico-cortical projections suggests a possible route of spread of NFT pathology in AD between cortical regions and from the cortex to subcortical areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-60
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume160
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 1993

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • neurofibrillary tangle
  • clustering
  • cortico-cortico projection

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