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Acta Neuropathol. 2003 Sep;106(3):251-60. Epub 2003 Jun 11.

4-repeat tauopathy sharing pathological and biochemical features of corticobasal degeneration and progressive supranuclear palsy.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, 3-9 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, 236-0004 Yokohama, Japan.


We report a 67-year-old man with 4-repeat (4R) tauopathy sharing both features of corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Although CBD and PSP have a common pathological feature that 4R tau accumulates in neurons and glia, recent pathological studies have confirmed differences between the two disorders. Clinical features of the present case were asymmetrical apraxia, parkinsonism, memory disturbance, disorientation and left limb myoclonus with a 5-year history. Pathological features were the widespread occurrence of 4R tau-positive structures including pre-tangles, neurofibrillary tangles, astrocytic plaques, tufted astrocytes, coiled bodies and argyrophilic threads. Biochemically, immunoblotting of insoluble tau demonstrated the low molecular fragments of 37 kDa and 33 kDa observed in typical CBD and PSP, respectively, in addition to the presence of 4R tau isoforms. The present case shared tau-related pathological and biochemical features of CBD and PSP. These findings support that CBD and PSP are closely associated disorders having a pathogenesis common to 4R tauopathy.

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