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Neurobiol Aging. 2011 May;32(5):894-906. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2009.05.018. Epub 2009 Jun 28.

Age-associated cerebral atrophy in mouse lemur primates.

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CEA, DSV, I2BM, MIRCen, 18 route du panorama, 92265 Fontenay-aux-Roses Cedex, France.


We assessed the regional brain atrophy in mouse lemur primates from 4.7T T2-weighted magnetic resonance images. Thirty animals aged from 1.9 to 11.3 years were imaged. Sixty-one percent of the 23 animals older than 3 years involved in the study displayed an atrophy process. Cross-sectional analysis suggests that the atrophy follows a gradual pathway, starting in the frontal region then involving the temporal and/or the parietal part of the brain and finally the occipital region. Histological evaluation of five animals selected according to various stages of atrophy suggested that extracellular amyloid deposits and tau pathology cannot explain by themselves this atrophy and that intracellular amyloid deposition is more closely linked to this pathology. This study suggests that most of the age-related atrophy occurring in mouse lemurs is caused by one clinical, evolving, pathological process. The ability to follow this pathology non-invasively by MRI will allow to further characterize it and evaluate its relationship with neuropathological lesions that are involved in human diseases such as Alzheimer.

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