, Volume 85, Issue 5, pp 458-462

Oculomotor nuclear pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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We examined the oculomotor and/or trochlear nuclei of 27 amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and 10 controls by histological and immunohistological methods. Their neurons were relatively well preserved. In 7 of 22 sporadic ALS patients (including 3/3 ALS with ophthalmoplegia) and in 4 of 5 ALS patients with dementia, some morphological changes similar to those in anterior horns (Bunina bodies, ubiquitin-positive skein-like inclusions, Lewy body-like inclusions, conglomerate inclusions and spheroids) were rarely, but clearly seen. These changes were not observed in controls. Our results suggest that the oculomotor and trochlear nuclei in ALS patients are slightly affected in a manner similar to that in the anterior horns, but the degree is less than that necessary for development of ophthalmoplegia in the majority of ALS patients.

Supported by The Nakabayashi Trust for ALS Research and by The Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan