Multiple system atrophy: laminar distribution of the pathological changes in frontal and temporal neocortex - a study in ten patients

Richard A. Armstrong, Peter L. Lantos, Nigel J. Cairns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the distribution of the pathological changes in the neocortex in multiple-system atrophy (MSA). METHOD: The vertical distribution of the abnormal neurons (neurons with enlarged or atrophic perikarya), surviving neurons, glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCI) and neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NI) were studied in alpha-synuclein-stained material of frontal and temporal cortex in ten cases of MSA. RESULTS: Abnormal neurons exhibited two common patterns of distribution, viz., density was either maximal in the upper cortex or a bimodal distribution was present with a density peak in the upper and lower cortex. The NI were either located in the lower cortex or were more uniformly distributed down the cortical profile. The distribution of the GCI varied considerably between gyri and cases. The density of the glial cell nuclei was maximal in the lower cortex in the majority of gyri. In a number of gyri, there was a positive correlation between the vertical densities of the abnormal neurons, the total number of surviving neurons, and the glial cell nuclei. The vertical densities of the GCI were not correlated with those of the surviving neurons or glial cells but the GCI and NI were positively correlated in a small number of gyri. CONCLUSION: The data suggest that there is significant degeneration of the frontal and temporal lobes in MSA, the lower laminae being affected more significantly than the upper laminae. Cortical degeneration in MSA is likely to be secondary to pathological changes occurring within subcortical areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neuropathology
Volume24
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • pathological changes
  • neocortex
  • multiple-system atrophy
  • MSA

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