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Neurobiol Aging. 1990 May-Jun;11(3):169-73.

Increased levels of DNA breaks in cerebral cortex of Alzheimer's disease patients.

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Department of Molecular Biology, TNO Institute for Experimental Gerontology, Rijswijk, The Netherlands.


It has been hypothesized that Alzheimer's disease (AD) is caused by an accumulation of damage in DNA due to defective DNA-repair (21). Attempts to test this hypothesis by determining the activity of DNA-repair systems in nonneuronal cells from AD patients and controls so far provided conflicting results. An alternative approach is the direct comparison of DNA-damage levels in neuronal tissue of AD patients and controls. In the present study we assayed the level of DNA breaks and alkali-labile sites in cerebral cortex tissue samples from AD patients and controls obtained from rapid autopsies. Our data on 11 AD patients and 8 control subjects indicate an at least two-fold higher level of DNA damage in cortex of AD patients as compared to controls.

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