Alzheimer's Disease Pathology (Neurofibrillary Tangles)

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Alzheimer Disease is a dementia where the pathologic examination of various areas in the human brain shows amyloid plaques (aberrant collections of alpha beta precursor protein-APP) and neurofibrillary tangles. Neurofibrillary tangles, consists of hyperphosphorylated bundles of the cytoskeletal protein tau. While amyloid plaques have been observed in the brains of several aged animals including great apes, neurofibrillary tangles have not been consistently reported in any species except humans. While age-matched samples of humans and great apes have been compared and show this difference, the numbers studied are relatively small. There is one report of neurofibrillary tangles in an aged chimpanzee.

Rebecca Rosen, Aaron Farberg, Marla Gearing, Jeromy Dooyema, Patrick Long, Daniel Anderson, Jeremy Davis-Turak, Giovanni Coppola, Daniel Geschwind, Jean-Francois Pare, Timothy Duong, William Hopkins, Todd Preus and Lary Walker. Taupathy with paired helical filaments in an aged chimpanzee The Journal of Comparative Neurology 509: 259-270, 2008.

The topic of aging in primates and Alzheimer’s disease has been addressed in the book by Erwin, J.M. and Hof, P.R.: Aging in Nonhuman Primates. Karger, Basel, 2002.


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