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Does the neurodegeneration of Alzheimer's disease spread between visual cortical regions B17 and B18 via the feedforward of feedback short cortico-cortical projections?



Does the neurodegeneration of Alzheimer's disease spread between visual cortical regions B17 and B18 via the feedforward of feedback short cortico-cortical projections?



Neurodegeneration 3(3): 191-196



The laminar distribution of senile plaques (SP) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) was studied in areas B17 and B18 of the visual cortex in 18 cases of Alzheimer's disease (AD) which varied in disease onset and duration. The objective was to test the hypothesis that SP and NFT could spread via either the feedforward or feedback short cortico-cortical projections. In area B17, the mean density of SP and NFT reached a maximum in lamina III and in laminae II and III respectively. In B18, mean SP density was maximal in laminae III and IV and NFT density in laminae II and III. No significant correlations were observed in any cortical lamina between the density of SP and patient age. However, the density of NFT in laminae III, IV and VI in B18 was negatively correlated with patient age. In addition in B18, the density of SP in lamina II and lamina V was negatively correlated with disease duration and disease onset respectively. Although these results suggest that SP and NFT might spread between B17 and B18 via the feedforward short cortico-cortical projections, it is also possible that the longer cortico-cortical and cortico-subcortical connections may be involved.

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