The spatial pattern of senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and A4 deposits in Alzheimer's disease

Richard A. Armstrong, David P. Myers, C.U.M. Smith, Nigel J. Cairns, P.J. Luthert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spatial patterns of senile plaques (SP) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) as visualised using the Gallyas stain and of discrete A4 protein deposits were determined in coronal serial sections from a variety of brain regions in six elderly patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). These lesions showed clustering in virtually all tissues examined with many of the clusters being regularly spaced. These spatial patterns were compared with the clustering observed for SP and NFT stained by the Glees and Marsland method in the same tissues. The data suggest that on average, while the regular clusters of A4 deposits and NFT were of approximately the same mean diameter (3600 microns), clusters of both Glees and Gallyas SP were approximately half this diameter (1800 - 2000 microns). If SP develop in local areas of the brain where both A4 deposition and neurofibrillary changes have occurred, the data suggest that the SP clusters would represent the region of overlap of the A4 deposits and neurofibrillary changes. Various hypothese are advocated to explain the regular clsuetring of the A4 deposits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroscience Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • senile plaques
  • neurofibrillary tangles
  • Gallyas stain
  • discrete A4 protein deposits
  • coronal serial sections
  • brain
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • lesions
  • clustering
  • tissues


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