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Ann Neurol. 1991 Oct;30(4):572-80.

Physical basis of cognitive alterations in Alzheimer's disease: synapse loss is the major correlate of cognitive impairment.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosciences, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0624.

Abstract

We present here both linear regressions and multivariate analyses correlating three global neuropsychological tests with a number of structural and neurochemical measurements performed on a prospective series of 15 patients with Alzheimer's disease and 9 neuropathologically normal subjects. The statistical data show only weak correlations between psychometric indices and plaques and tangles, but the density of neocortical synapses measured by a new immunocytochemical/densitometric technique reveals very powerful correlations with all three psychological assays. Multivariate analysis by stepwise regression produced a model including midfrontal and inferior parietal synapse density, plus inferior parietal plaque counts with a correlation coefficient of 0.96 for Mattis's Dementia Rating Scale. Plaque density contributed only 26% of that strength.

PMID:
1789684
DOI:
10.1002/ana.410300410
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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