Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Suzanne MusilEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_512


Tauopathy refers to a group of neurodegenerative diseases with pathological inclusions containing fibrillar aggregates of tau proteins. Although the tauopathies comprise a diverse phenotypic group, filamentous neuronal or neuronal and glial tau inclusions associated with the degeneration of affected brain regions are the defining neuropathological features of tauopathies (Lee et al. 2001).

Current Knowledge

Tau proteins are microtubule-associated proteins that are abundant in the central nervous system and are expressed primarily in axons. Two of the major functions of tau are to bind to and stabilize microtubules (MTs) and to promote MT polymerization. Hyperphosphorylation of tau, as observed in tauopathies, is largely thought to contribute to neuronal dysfunction and death indirectly by (1) removing tau from microtubules, which causes disruption of cellular trafficking, thus contributing to synapse dysfunction and loss and (2) making tau more fibrillogenic leading to...

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA