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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000 Apr;903:39-45.

Cerebrovascular pathology in Alzheimer's disease and leukoaraiosis.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157, USA.


A high percentage of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) show evidence of white matter degeneration known as leukoaraiosis (LA), which is due to chronic ischemia. We found that the periventricular veins tend to become occluded by multiple layers of collagen in the vessel walls in the elderly. This collagen deposition is particularly excessive in LA lesions. Therefore, it is present in the brains of many AD patients, along with other ischemia-causing cerebrovascular pathology. We found evidence that there is severe loss of oligodendrocytes in LA, due to extensive apoptosis. No evidence of inflammation was found in the LA lesions. In thick celloidin sections of AD brain, we have obtained detailed 3D views of small (early) deposits of amyloid (stained with beta-amyloid antibody) around capillaries (stained with collagen IV antibody).

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