Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 92–94 | Cite as

Loss of neurons in the frontal cortex in AIDS brains

  • S. Ketzler
  • S. Weis
  • H. Haug
  • H. Budka
Short Original Communications


Neurons of Area 11 in the fronto-orbital cortex of 18 unselected AIDS brains are analyzed by means of stereology. Neurological abnormalities including dementing symptoms were described in eight patients. Neuropathology diagnosed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific changes in four, and diffuse poliodystrophy in eight brains. The majority (71.4%) of these brains was immunoreactive for HIV antigens when tested by immunocytochemistry. A significant loss of neurons is found as compared to normal controls. Neuronal density in AIDS brains is reduced by 18%, and the perikaryon volume fractions is reduced by 31%. Although only speculation on pathogenesis of this neuronal loss is possible at present, it may represent a part of the pathomorphological substrate of AIDS-related dementia. Moreover, it confirms by quantitative means damage to the cerebral cortex in AIDS which has been described only qualitatively as diffuse poliodystrophy.

Key words

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) Cerebral cortex Dementia Morphometry Neuronalloss 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Ketzler
    • 1
  • S. Weis
    • 1
  • H. Haug
    • 1
  • H. Budka
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für AnatomieMedizinische Universität LübeckLübeckFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Neurologisches InstitutUniversität WienWienAustria

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