The incidence of corpora amylacea (CA) in the optic nerve of patients with Alzheimer's disease

A.B. Syed, Richard A. Armstrong, Christopher U.M. Smith

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Corpora amylacea (CA) are spherical or ovoid bodies 50-50 microns in diameter. They have been described in normal elderly brain as well as in a number of neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, the incidence of CA in the optic nerves of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients was compared with normal elderly controls. Samples of optic nerves (MRC Brain Bank, Institute of Psychiatry) were taken from 12 AD patients (age range 69-94 years) and 18 controls (43-82 years). Optic nerves were fixed in 2% buffered glutaraldehyde, post-fixed in osmium tetroxide, embedded in epoxy resin and then sectioned to a thickness of 2 microns. Sections were stained with toluidine blue. CA were present in all of the optic nerves examined. In addition, a number of similarly stained but more irregularly shaped bodies were present. Fewer CA were found in the optic nerves of AD patients compared with controls. By contrast, the number or irregularly shaped bodies was increased in AD. In AD, there may be a preferential decline in the large diameter fibres which may mediate the M-cell pathway. Hence, the decline in the incidence of CA in AD may be associated with a reduction in these fibres. It is also possible that the irregualrly shaped bodies are a degeneration product of the CA.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 1994
EventBrain Research Association Conference - Southampton (UK)
Duration: 11 Apr 199414 Apr 1994


ConferenceBrain Research Association Conference
CitySouthampton (UK)

Bibliographical note

Abstract appearing in Brain Res. Assoc. Abstr., 11, 38


  • corpora amylacea
  • brain
  • neurodegenerative disorders
  • optic nerves
  • Alzheimer


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