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Neural Plast. 2010;2010:108190. doi: 10.1155/2010/108190. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

Selective vulnerability of neurons in layer II of the entorhinal cortex during aging and Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Ames Hall, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.


All neurons are not created equal. Certain cell populations in specific brain regions are more susceptible to age-related changes that initiate regional and system-level dysfunction. In this respect, neurons in layer II of the entorhinal cortex are selectively vulnerable in aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). This paper will cover several hypotheses that attempt to account for age-related alterations among this cell population. We consider whether specific developmental, anatomical, or biochemical features of neurons in layer II of the entorhinal cortex contribute to their particular sensitivity to aging and AD. The entorhinal cortex is a functionally heterogeneous environment, and we will also review data suggesting that, within the entorhinal cortex, there is subregional specificity for molecular alterations that may initiate cognitive decline. Taken together, the existing data point to a regional cascade in which entorhinal cortical alterations directly contribute to downstream changes in its primary afferent region, the hippocampus.

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