Short Original Communications

Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 146-150

First online:

Spongiform-like changes in Alzheimer's disease

An ultrastructural study
  • G. L. MancardiAffiliated withClinica Neurologica, Università di Genova
  • , T. I. MandyburAffiliated withDept. of Pathology (Neuropathology), University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine
  • , B. H. LiwniczAffiliated withDept. of Pathology (Neuropathology), University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The ultrastructural study of the cortex of four patients with sporadic or familial AD, of two agematched controls without dementia, and of one normal pressure hydrocephalus, revealed in all the cases in the neuropil only occasional vacuoles which had a morphology similar to those observed in CJD. The degree of spongiform-like changes was, however, far less prominent than in CJD and considered mild in all the cases examined. Moreover, curled fragments of membranes within the vacuoles were not observed. It is suggested that the mild vacuolization of the neuropil occasionally observed in cortical biopsies of AD is a non-specific finding and cannot be considered a neuropathologic link between AD and CJD.

Key words

Alzheimer's disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease Spongiform changes Electron microscopy