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A quantitative and ultrastructural study of substantia nigra and nucleus centralis superior in Alzheimer's disease

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In four patients with presenile Alzheimer's disease (AD) and three age-matched controls a quantitative study of neurons and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) in the substantia nigra (SN) and nucleus centralis superior (NCS) was performed. A significant neuronal loss, similar in both nuclei, was found in AD cases, while the incidence of NFT was remarkably higher in NCS. Moreover, no significant correlation between neuronal loss and number of NFT was detected. An electron-microscopic study revealed that the subcortical NFT in NCS are made up of paired helical filaments in spite of their globose round shape.

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Correspondence to M. Tabaton.

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Supported by CNR contract no. 83.02062.04

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Tabaton, M., Schenone, A., Romagnoli, P. et al. A quantitative and ultrastructural study of substantia nigra and nucleus centralis superior in Alzheimer's disease. Acta Neuropathol 68, 218–223 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00690198

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Key words

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Electron microscopy
  • Substantia nigra
  • Nucleus centralis superior