Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 84, Issue 6, pp 638–650

Brain stem serotonin-synthesizing neurons in Alzheimer's disease: a clinicopathological correlation

  • G. M. Halliday
  • H. L. McCann
  • R. Pamphlett
  • W. S. Brooks
  • H. Creasey
  • E. McCusker
  • R. G. H. Cotton
  • G. A. Broe
  • C. G. Harper
Regular Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00227741

Cite this article as:
Halliday, G.M., McCann, H.L., Pamphlett, R. et al. Acta Neuropathol (1992) 84: 638. doi:10.1007/BF00227741

Summary

The location and number of brain stem serotonin-synthesizing neurons were analyzed in 11 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 5 agematched controls using immunohistochemical techniques. In addition, the number of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the cortex and brain stem raphe was evaluated, as was the number of Nissl-stained raphe neurons. AD patients could be classified into two groups based on their raphe pathology; patients with such pathology (AD+) and those without (AD). The number of large raphe neurons correlated significantly with the number of serotonin-synthesizing neurons in control material, indicating that all large neurons were serotonergic. This relationship was not apparent in AD+ patients, in whom the number of serotonin-synthesizing neurons correlated with the number of neurofibrillary tangles in the raphe of these patients. This indicates that in AD+ patients the serotonin-synthesizing neurons were selectively affected. There was no correlation between raphe and cortical pathology or raphe pathology and patient sex, age, mini-mental score or depression score, even when such scores were weighted for the interval between testing and death. There was a trend for the raphe pathology to correlate with the age of onset and duration of dementia and the Blessed dementia score in AD+ patients. Most AD+ patients with severe raphe lesions had clinical dementia only, while AD patients had additional clinical features. The raphe lesions were more dramatic in AD+ patients with a rapid progression of symptoms.

Key words

Raphe Immunohistochemistry Neuritic plaques Neurofibrillary tangles Alzheimer's disease 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. M. Halliday
    • 1
  • H. L. McCann
    • 1
  • R. Pamphlett
    • 1
  • W. S. Brooks
    • 3
  • H. Creasey
    • 3
  • E. McCusker
    • 3
  • R. G. H. Cotton
    • 4
  • G. A. Broe
    • 2
    • 3
  • C. G. Harper
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of SydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Geriatric MedicineUniversity of SydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Geriatric MedicineRepatriation General HospitalConcordAustralia
  4. 4.Murdoch InstituteRoyal Children's HospitalParkvilleAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Anatomical PathologyRoyal Prince Alfred HospitalCamperdownAustralia

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