Send to

Choose Destination
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

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


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center