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Clin Ophthalmol. 2007 Jun;1(2):119-25.

Neuropathological changes in striate and extrastriate visual cortex in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).

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Vision Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.


Pathological changes in striate (B17, V1) and extrastriate (B18, V2) visual cortex were studied in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). No differences in densities of vacuoles or surviving neurons were observed in B17 and B18 but densities of glial cell nuclei and deposits of prion protein (PrP) were greater in B18. PrP deposit densities in B17 and B18 were positively correlated. Diffuse deposit density in B17 was negatively correlated with the density of surviving neurons in B18. The vacuoles either exhibited a density peak in laminae II/III and V/VI or were more uniformly distributed across the laminae. Diffuse deposits were most frequent in laminae II/III and florid deposits more generally distributed. In B18, the surviving neurons were more consistently bimodally distributed and the glial cell nuclei most abundant in laminae V/VI than in B17. Hence, both striate and extrastriate visual cortex is affected by the pathology of vCJD, the pathological changes being most severe in B18. Neuronal degeneration in B18 appears to be associated with diffuse PrP deposit formation in B17. These data suggest that the short cortico-cortical connections between B17 and B18 and the pathways to subcortical visual areas are compromised in vCJD.


extrastriate (B18) cortex; prion protein (PrP) deposition; striate cortex (B17); vacuolation; variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)

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