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Mech Ageing Dev. 1985 Jun;31(1):25-35.

Glycogen accumulation of the aging human brain.


We describe light- and electron-microscopically a new type of intracytoplasmatic inclusions within cell processes of the cerebral cortex and the underlying white matter. These structures measure 5-50 micron in diameter and consist almost exclusively of densely packed alpha- or beta-glycogen granules, which never occur together in any single structure. Within their periphery, electron-dense amorphous spots and cell organelles, especially mitochondria, were seen. No membrane-bound glycogen was observed. We propose to call them granular glycogen bodies. They occur in 4 of 7 examined postmortem specimens of the cerebral cortex of people older than 60 years of age. They were not found in 4 younger controls aged 26-48. Their appearance may reflect a distinct turnover disorder of carbohydrate metabolism, which becomes manifest under diverse pathologic conditions and in the normal aging process.

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