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Neurosci Lett. 1995 Nov 10;200(1):57-60.

Neurons, intracellular and extracellular neurofibrillary tangles in subdivisions of the hippocampal cortex in normal ageing and Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Fukui Medical School, Japan.


Unaffected neurons, intracellular neurofibrillary tangles (I-NFTs) and extracellular NFTs (E-NFTs) in six normal subjects and six patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) were morphometrically evaluated in eight subdivisions of the hippocampal cortex, using the Gallyas silver impregnation technique modified by the application of hematoxylin and eosin. The subdivisions examined included CA1-4, prosubiculum (PRO), subiculum and presubiculum (PRE), parasubiculum (PARA) and the entorhinal cortex (ENT). In the AD patients, the number of unaffected neurons in ENT, CA1, PRO and PARA was significantly decreased to one-quarter to two-thirds of that of the normal aged subjects. These four subdivisions in the AD patients had a greater number of both I- and E-NFTs. There were no significant differences in the total number of unaffected neurons, I- and ENTs between the AD patients and normal aged subjects for all the subdivisions. These findings suggest that neuronal loss in the hippocampal cortex in AD is almost entirely due to NFT formation. Furthermore, with regards to neuronal loss and NFT formation, there were two different subdivision groups in the AD patients. One group was composed of severely affected subdivisions (ENT, CA1, PRO and Para) and was distinct from the other group which was composed of mildly affected subdivisions (CA4, CA3, CA2 and PRE). Each subdivision in the normal aged subjects belonged to the mildly affected group as seen in the AD patients. These findings indicate that both neuronal loss and NFT formation associated with normal ageing and with AD are not only quantitatively but also qualitatively different.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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