Measuring the degree of spatial correlation between pathological lesions in Alzheimer's disease

Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pathological lesions characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (AD), viz., senile plaques (SP) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) may not be randomly distributed with reference to each other but exhibit a degree of sptial association or correlation, information on the degree of association between SP and NFT or between the lesions and normal histological features, such as neuronal perikarya and blood vessels, may be valuable in elucidating the pathogenesis of AD. This article reviews the statistical methods available for studying the degree of spatial association in histological sections of AD tissue. These include tests of interspecific association between two or more histological features using chi-square contingency tables, measurement of 'complete' and 'absolute' association, and more complex methods that use grids of contiguous samples. In addition, analyses of association using correlation matrices and stepwise multiple regression methods are described. The advantages and limitations of each method are reviewed and possible future developments discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalAlzheimers Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Chi-square contingency tables
  • clustering
  • cispersion
  • pathological lesions
  • spatial correlation


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