, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 157-160

Neurofibrillary changes in the cerebral cortex of a patient with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE)

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Biopsy fragments from the frontal cortex of one patient with SSPE were studied with ultrastructural methods. Special attention was given to the presence of neurofibrillary tangles observed in all cortical layers. These tangles were composed either of filaments with a diameter of 10–12 nm or of paired helical filaments 22–24 nm at their widest and periodically reduced to 10 nm about every 80 nm. These tangles were observed in all cortical layers, while those formed by single filaments were only visualized in layer 3. The simultaneous appearance of both types of tangles in the same patient suggests that they may be chemically related, which is in keeping with recent chemical data concerning the nature of the neurofilament protein subunit.