Neurofibrillary pathology - Correlation with hippocampal formation atrophy in Alzheimer disease
The three-dimensionally reconstructed hippocampal formations in three patients with very severe, immobile Alzheimer disease (AD) and three age-matched nondemented individuals were examined for a correlation between atrophy of hippocampal formation subdivisions and neurofibrillary changes, neuronal loss, and extent of amyloid deposition in plaques and vessels. In AD, a similar severe volume loss was observed in both cellular layers and layers composed of fibers. A strong correlation between the decrease in the volume of hippocampal formation subdivisions and the decrease in the total number of neurons suggests a causative role for neuronal loss in hippocampal formation volumetric loss. Strong regional correlations between the relative decreases in the total number of neurons and the relative increases in the total number of neurofibrillary tangles implicates neurofibrillary pathology as a possible etiologic proximate factor in neuronal and volumetric loss in the hippocampal formation of AD patients.