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The relationship between senile plaques and cerebral blood vessels in Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia. Morphological mechanism of senile plaque production.


Several kinds of senile plaque found in 6 brains (4 from patients with Alzheimer's disease and 2 from patients with senile dementia) were examined in serial sections by light electron microscopy. The results obtained were as follows. All the senile plaques contained at least some amyloid fibrils, and these seemed to be produced at the basement membranes of capillary endothelial cells and projected into the surrounding parenchyma. Even when the senile plaques themselves appeared to lack amyloid fibrils by light microscopy, at least one degenerable capillary containing amyloid fibrils was demonstrable when serial sections were examined ultrastructurally. The findings described above suggest that the amyloid fibrils which form the cores of the several kinds of senile plaque, seem to be produced at the basement membrane of the endothelial cell. It is speculated that the capillary degeneration with the formation of amyloid fibrils may be primary change in the genesis of senile plaques.

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