Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 21–25 | Cite as

Laminar distribution of neuritic plaques in normal aging, Alzheimer's disease and Down's syndrome

  • J. Rafalowska
  • M. Barcikowska
  • G. Y. Wen
  • H. M. Wisniewski
Regular Papers


Quantitative studies of neuritic (senile) plaques in six cortical layers were carried out in brains from people with confirmed clinical and neuropathological diagnosis of senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (SDAT) and Down's syndrome (DS). The same studies were performed on brains of normal old-aged people. In Alzheimer disease (AD) and DS cases the highest numbers of neuritic plaques (NP) were observed in temporal lobe layers III and II and occipital lobe layers III, IV and II. In normal old-aged people the highest numbers of NP were found in temporal lobe III and V and in occipital lobe IV, III, and V layer. The plaque numbers in both temporal and occipital cortices of AD and DS were significantly higher than that of normal old-aged people but there was no difference between AD and DS.

Key words

Neuritic (senile) plaque Alzheimer disease Down's syndrome Aging brain 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bell MA, Ball MJ (1985) Laminar variation in the microvascular architecture of normal human visual cortex (area 17). Brain Res 335:139–143Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Blessed G, Tomlinson BE, Roth M (1968) The association between quantitative measures of dementia and of senile-change in the cerebral grey matter of elderly subjects. Br J Psychiatr 114:797–811Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Currie JR, Barcikowska M, Mehta P, Miller DL, Wisniewski HM (1988) Immunocytochemical localization of the protein precursor of Alzheimer-related amyloid. (in preparation)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Duyckaerts C, Hauw JJ, Bastenaire F, Piette F, Poulain C, Rainsard V (1986) Laminar distribution of neocortical senile plaques in senile dementia of the Alzheimer type. Acta Neuropathol (Berl) 70:249–256Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gibson PH (1983) Form and distribution of senile plaques seen in silver-impregnated sections in the brains of intellectually normal elderly people and people with Alzheimer-type dementia. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 9:379–389Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hyman BT, Van Hoesen GW, Kromer LJ, Damasio AR (1986) Perforant pathway changes and the memory impairment of Alzheimer's disease. Ann Neurol 20:472–481Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Khachaturian ZS (1985) Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Arch Neurol 42:1097–1104Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kirkpatrick JB (1985) Non-random distribution of senile plaques in cerebral cortex. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol (Abstr) 44:331Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lewis DA, Campbell MJ, Terry RD, Morrison JH (1987) Laminar and regional distribution of neurofibrillary tangles and neuritic plaques in Alzheimer's disease: a quantitative study of visual and auditory cortices. J Neurosci 7:1799–1808Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mandybur TI (1975) The incidence of cerebral amyloid angiopathy in Alzheimer's disease. Neurology 25:120–126Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Merz GS, Schweink V, Schuller-Levis G, Gruca S, Wisniewski HM (1987) Isolation and characterization of macrophages from scrapie-infected mouse brain. Acta Neuropathol (Berl) 72:240–247Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Neary D, Snowden JS, Mann DMA, Bowen DM, Sims NR, Northern B, Yates PO, Davison AN (1986) Alzheimer's disease: a correlative study. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiat 49:229–237Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Pearson RCA, Esiri MM, Hierns RW, Wilcock GK, Powel TPS (1985) Anatomical correlates of the distribution of the pathological changes in the neocortex in Alzheimer disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 82:4531–4534Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tomlinson BE (1980) The structural and quantitative aspects of the dementias. In: Roberts PJ (ed) Biochemistry of dementia. Wiley & Sons, Chichester, pp 15–56Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tomlinson BE, Blessed S, Roth M (1968) Observations on the brains of non-demented old people. J Neurol Sci 7:331–356Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tomlinson BE, Blessed S, Roth M (1970) Observations on the brains of demented old people. J Neurol Sci 11:205–242Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wisniewski HM, Merz GS (1985) Neuropathology of the aging brain and dementia of the Alzheimer type. In: Gaitz CM, Samorajski T (eds) Aging 2000: our health care destiny. Springer, New York, pp 231–243Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wisniewski HM, Moretz RC, Lossinsky AS (1981) Evidence for induction of localized amyloid deposits and neuritic plaques by an infectious agent. Ann Neurol 10:517–522Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wisniewski HM, Vorbrodt AW, Moretz RC, Lossinsky AS, Grundke-Iqbal I (1982) Pathogenesis of neuritic (senile) and amyloid plaque formation. In: Hoyer S (ed) The aging brain-physiological and pathophysiological aspects. Exp Brain Res [Suppl 5]. Springer, Neidelberg, pp 3–9Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wisniewski HM, Currie JR, Barcikowska M, Robakis NK, Miller DL (1988) Alzheimer disease, a cerebral form of amyloidosis. In: Pouplard-Barthelaix A, Emile J, Christen Y (eds) Immunology and Alzheimer's disease. Springer, Berlin, pp 1–6Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Rafalowska
    • 1
  • M. Barcikowska
    • 1
  • G. Y. Wen
    • 1
  • H. M. Wisniewski
    • 1
  1. 1.New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental DisabilitiesInstitute for Basic Research in Developmental DisabilitiesStaten IslandUSA

Personalised recommendations