Forensic Neuropathology

  • Reinhard B. Dettmeyer


The broad field of forensic neuropathology covers numerous findings of interest. In addition to the detection or exclusion of meningitis or meningoencephalitis, detecting and determining the age of injuries is of particular interest: using histopathological techniques, it is possible to determine the age of epi- and subdural hematomas, as well as subarachnoid hemorrhages. The same applies to intracerebral hemorrhage and brain contusions. It is also possible to demonstrate chronic traumatic injury, as well as ischemic and hypoxic brain injury. Preexisting diseases such as cerebral artery aneurysm or brain tumors can be analyzed histopathologically; cerebral amyloid angiopathy, for instance, can only be detected histopathologically. Microscopic analysis of the retina in “shaken baby syndrome” enables the detection of traumatic bleeding, while trauma-related neuronal damage can be demonstrated immunohistochemically in the form of ß-amyloid precursor protein (ß-APP) deposits. One also sees neuropathologically and histologically detectable changes in chronic drug use. Neurohistopathology, on the other hand, has hitherto proved less helpful in the detection or exclusion of fatal epileptic seizures.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhard B. Dettmeyer
    • 1
  1. 1.University Hospital Giessen Institute of Forensic MedicineGiessenGermany

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