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Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2011 Jun;17(5):365-71. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2011.02.017. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Neuropathological findings of PSP in the elderly without clinical PSP: possible incidental PSP?

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, 13400 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA. evidente.virgilio@mayo.edu

Abstract

AIMS:

We aimed to describe cases with incidental neuropathological findings of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) from the Banner Sun Health Research Institute Brain and Body Donation Program.

METHODS:

We performed a retrospective review of 277 subjects with longitudinal motor and neuropsychological assessments who came to autopsy. The mean Gallyas-positive PSP features grading for subjects with possible incidental neuropathological PSP was compared to those of subjects with clinically manifest disease.

RESULTS:

There were 5 cases with histopathological findings suggestive of PSP, but no parkinsonism, dementia or movement disorder during life. Cognitive evaluation revealed 4 of the 5 cases to be cognitively normal; one case had amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in her last year of life. The mean age at death of the 5 cases was 88.9 years (range 80-94). All 5 individuals had histopathologic microscopic findings suggestive of PSP. Mean Gallyas-positive PSP features grading was significantly lower in subjects with possible incidental neuropathological PSP than subjects with clinical PSP, particularly in the subthalamic nucleus.

CONCLUSIONS:

We present 5 patients with histopathological findings suggestive of PSP, without clinical PSP, dementia or parkinsonism during life. These incidental neuropathological PSP findings may represent the early or pre-symptomatic stage of PSP. The mean Gallyas-positive PSP features grading was significantly lower in possible incidental PSP than in clinical PSP, thus suggesting that a threshold of pathological burden needs to be reached within the typically affected areas in PSP before clinical signs and symptoms appear.

PMID:
21420891
PMCID:
PMC3109165
DOI:
10.1016/j.parkreldis.2011.02.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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