Alzheimer’s disease — one, two or several?

  • C. G. Gottfries
  • K. Blennow
  • B. Regland
  • A. Wallin
Part of the Key Topics in Brain Research book series (KEYTOPICS)


In the seventies, the two disorders, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (SDAT) were sampled into one group, the dementias of the Alzheimer type. This sampling cannot be justified from a scientific point of view. The phenomenology of the two disorders differentiate. In AD a symptomatology of parietal and temporal lobe dysfunction is present, while in SDAT the clinical picture is more diffuse and indicative of not only a cortical but also a subcortical dysfunction.

Brain imaging techniques indicate white matter low attenuation and central atrophy in SDAT, while in AD the cortical atrophy is predominant.

Laboratory data show that the SDAT group includes patients with vitamin B12 deficiency and increased platelet monoamine oxidase activity. In the CSF of patients with AD there are decreased concentrations of homovanillic acid.

While AD is considered a small, relatively homogeneous group of presenile dementias, SDAT is considered a heterogeneous group including several subgroups.


Senile Dementia Brain Imaging Technique Visual Agnosia Presenile Dementia Late Onset Dementia 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. G. Gottfries
    • 1
  • K. Blennow
    • 1
  • B. Regland
    • 1
  • A. Wallin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and NeurochemistryGothenburg UniversityGothenburgSweden

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