Variations in dentate gyrus pathology in neurodegenerative disease

Richard A. Armstrong

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The dentate gyrus (DG) is an important part of the hippocampal formation and is believed to be involved in a variety of brain functions including episodic and spatial memory and the exploration of novel environments. In several neurodegenerative disorders, significant pathology occurs in the DG which may be involved in the development of clinical dementia. Based on the abundance of pathological change, neurodegenerative disorders could be divided into three groups: (1) those in which high densities of neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI) were present in DG granule cells, e.g., Pick’s disease (PiD), frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43-immunoreactive inclusions (FTLD-TDP), and neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID), (2) those in which aggregated protein deposits were distributed throughout the hippocampal formation including the molecular layer of the DG, e.g., Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Down’s syndrome (DS), and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), and (3) those in which in there was significantly less pathology in the DG, e.g., Parkinson’s disease dementia (PD-Dem), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), multiple system atrophy (MSA), and sporadic CJD (sCJD). Hence, DG pathology varied significantly among disorders which could contribute to differences in clinical dementia. Pathological differences among disorders could reflect either differential vulnerability of the DG to specific molecular pathologies or variation in the degree of spread of pathological proteins into the hippocampal formation from adjacent regions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Medical and Biological Frontiers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2014


  • dentate gyrus
  • perforant path
  • spatial memory
  • neurodegenerative disease
  • quantitative pathology
  • Alzheimer's desease


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