, Volume 103, Issue 6, pp 555-564

Distribution of basal ganglia lesions in diffuse neurofibrillary tangles with calcification: a clinicopathological study of five autopsy cases

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We investigated five Japanese autopsy cases of diffuse neurofibrillary tangles with calcification (DNTC), both clinically and pathologically, and examined the degree and distribution of the basal ganglia lesions, especially in the amygdala, striatum, pallidum, and substantia nigra. The lesions in the amygdala, striatum, and pallidum were classified into three categories (mild, moderate, and severe). The lesions in the substantia nigra were qualitatively judged, compared with normal controls. Severe dementia was observed in four cases neuropathologically showing pronounced neuronal loss in the cerebral cortex, but one case without neuronal loss in the cerebral cortex showed mild memory disturbance. Extrapyramidal signs were evident in three cases. Obvious neuronal loss in the substantia nigra with the presence of Lewy bodies was noticed in four cases. Basal ganglia lesions in all five cases were uniform: the amygdala showed severe to moderate lesions, the caudate nucleus moderate to slight lesions, and the putamen and pallidum slight lesions to normal. Furthermore, the lesions in the amygdala were more prominent in the basolateral group than in the corticomedial group, inconsistent with those in the amygdala of Alzheimer's disease. Moderate lesions were evident in the basolateral group of the amygdala in the case without neuronal loss in the cerebral cortex. In DNTC, the degree and distribution of the basal ganglia lesions, except for nigral lesions, were analogous to those found in Pick's disease with Pick bodies. These clinicopathological findings may contribute to the elucidation of the clinicopathological hallmarks in this disorder.

Revised, accepted: 12 November 2001
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