Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 73–80 | Cite as

Topographic distribution of neurofibrillary tangles and granulovacuolar degeneration in hippocampal cortex of aging and demented patients. A quantitative study

  • M. J. Ball
Original Investigations


Topographic analysis was performed of the distribution of Alzheimer's neurofibrillary tangles and the granulovacuolar degeneration of Simchowicz in the hippocampal cortex of patients with Alzheimer's dementia and mentally normal aged controls. A semiautomated scanning stage microscope was linked potentiometrically to an XY pen recorder in order to plot cytoarchitectonic “scattergrams” from the sequentially screened hippocampal formations. The density of both lesions per cubic mm of pyramidal cortex was quantified by measuring the area of each of six “zones”, using a digitizer and programmable calculator.

In elderly normal brains as well as those of Alzheimer's disease, the statistically most representative ranking order of predilection forneurofibrillary tangles (in decreasing severity) was: entorhinal cortex > subiculum > H1 > end-plate > presubiculum > H2. Forgranulovacuolar degeneration the best rank order was: subiculum > H1 > H2 > end-plate > entorhinal cortex > presubiculum. The notable similarities of both such orders of predilection to the well-recognized “selective vulnerability” of certain hippocampal neurones in clinical conditions of hypoxia, ischemia and epilepsy suggest some common, focally accentuated cytotoxic mechanism may underlie all these regional predispositions.

Key words

Aging Dementia Neurofibrillary tangles Granulovacuolar degeneration Hippocampus Topography 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Ball
    • 1
  1. 1.Depts. of Pathology and Clinical Neurological SciencesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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