Phases of A beta-deposition in the human brain and its relevance for the development of AD

Dietmar R ThalHeiko Braak


The deposition of the amyloid beta protein (Abeta) is a histopathologic hallmark of AD. The regions of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) are hierarchically involved in Abeta-deposition. To clarify whether there is a hierarchical involvement of the regions of the entire brain as well and whether there are differences in the expansion of Abeta-pathology between clinically proven AD cases and nondemented cases with AD-related pathology, the authors investigated 47 brains from demented and nondemented patients with AD-related pathology covering all phases of beta-amyloidosis in the MTL (AbetaMTL phases) and four control brains without any AD-related pathology. Abeta deposits were detected by the use of the Campbell-Switzer silver technique and by immunohistochemistry in sections covering all brain regions and brainstem nuclei. It was analyzed how often distinct regions exhibited Abeta deposits. In the first of five phases in the evolution of beta-amyloidosis Abeta deposits are found exclusively in the neocortex. The second phase is characterized by the additional involvement of allocortical brain regions. In phase 3, diencephalic nuclei, the striatum, and the cholinergic nuclei of the basal forebrain exhibit Abeta deposits as well. Se...Continue Reading


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