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Curr Aging Sci. 2008 Jul;1(2):122-32.

The interface between Alzheimer's disease, normal aging, and related disorders.

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Vision Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.


Since the earliest descriptions of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the presence of senile plaques (SP) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) have been regarded as the typical pathological hallmarks of the disease. Studies over the last twenty years, however, have reported a considerable degree of heterogeneity within the AD phenotype and as a consequence, an overlap between the pathological features of AD not only with normal aging, but also with disorders related to AD. This review discusses: 1) the degree of heterogeneity within AD, 2) the concept of an 'interface' between disorders, 3) the nature and degree of the interface between AD and normal aging, vascular dementia (VD), the tauopathies, synucleinopathies, and prion disease, and 4) whether the original status of AD should be retained or whether AD, normal aging, and the related disorders should be regarded as representing a 'continuum' of neuropathological change.

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