Nucleus raphe dorsalis in Alzheimer's disease: Neurofibrillary tangles and loss of large neurons

Toru Yamamoto, Asao Hirano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

274 Scopus citations

Abstract

Diffuse serotonergic fibers are presumed to project to the talencephalon from the nucleus raphe dorsalis (NRD) of the mid brain, in a manner similiar to the cholinergic projections from the nucleus basalis of Meynert (nbM) to the cerebral cortex. Neuropathological changes in both of these nuclei have been reported in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although many morphometric studies of the nbM in AD have been documented, only one such study of the NRD has been documented, only one such study of the NRD has been conducted so far; it demonstrated a six fold increase in neurofibrillary tangles in AD but no statistically significant difference in the number of neurons in patients with AD and age‐matched controls. A study of the NRD utilizing different stains and wider anatomical boundaries is detailed in this report of 5 patients with AD and 7 age‐matched controls. In AD the NRD showed 39 times more neurofibrillary tangles and the number and cell density of large neurons were reduced to 23% and 28%, respectively, of those in the controls. A small number of senile plaques were found in the NRD in all patients with AD but none were found in the controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-577
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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