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Vol. 14, No. 3, 2002
Issue release date: September 2002
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2002;14:161–166

Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy, White Matter Lesions and Alzheimer Encephalopathy – A Histopathological Assessment

Haglund M. · Englund E.
Division of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology and Cytology, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden

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To test the hypothesis that the cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is quantitatively associated with white matter lesions (WML), the brains of 63 demented patients exhibiting varying degrees of Alzheimer encephalopathy (AE) were examined, along with those of 10 nondemented control cases. The ratio of amyloid-positive to amyloid-negative vessels in the leptomeninges of the frontal pole from each patient was calculated subsequent to microscopical examination, and the severity of WML was graded according to previously published criteria. In AD cases without a significant component of vascular dementia, the level of CAA was found to correlate with the degree of WML diagnosed and graded by neuropathology. Neither age nor severity of AE correlated significantly with WML. There may be several reasons for the conflicting results of this study vis-à-vis earlier investigations; the roles played by different methods of staining, CAA quantitation and patient subgroup selection are also discussed.

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