Spatial pattern of prion protein deposits in patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease

Richard A. Armstrong, Nigel J. Cairns, Peter L. Lantos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spatial pattern of the prion protein (PrP) deposits was studied in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum in 10 patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD). In all patients the PrP deposits were aggregated into clusters and, in 90% of cortical areas and in 50% of cerebellar sections, the clusters exhibited a regular periodicity parallel to the tissue boundary; a spatial pattern also exhibited by ß-amyloid (Aß) deposits in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the cerebral cortex, the incidence of regular clustering of the PrP deposits was similar in the upper and lower cortical laminae. The sizes of the PrP clusters in the upper and lower cortex were uncorrelated. No significant differences in mean cluster size of the PrP deposits were observed between brain regions. The size, location and distribution of the PrP deposit clusters suggest that PrP deposition occurs in relation to specific anatomical pathways and supports the hypothesis that prion pathology spreads through the brain via such pathways. In addition, the data suggest that there are similarities in the pathogenesis of extracellular protein deposits in prion disease and in AD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • cerebellum
  • clustering
  • cortex
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • prion protein
  • PrP


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