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Classification and external resources
MeSH D024801
Diagram of a normal microtubule and one affected by tauopathy

Tauopathies are a class of neurodegenerative diseases associated with the pathological aggregation of tau protein[1] in the human brain.

The best-known of these illnesses is Alzheimer's disease (AD), wherein tau protein is deposited within neurons in the form of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). They were first described by the eponymous Alois Alzheimer in one of his patients suffering from the disorder. Tangles are formed by hyperphosphorylation of a microtubule-associated protein known as tau, causing it to aggregate in an insoluble form. (These aggregations of hyperphosphorylated tau protein are also referred to as PHF, or "paired helical filaments"). The precise mechanism of tangle formation is not completely understood, and it is still controversial as to whether tangles are a primary causative factor in the disease or play a more peripheral role. AD is also classified as an amyloidosis because of the presence of senile plaques.[2]

The degree of NFT involvement in AD is defined by Braak stages. Braak stages I and II are used when NFT involvement is confined mainly to the transentorhinal region of the brain, stages III and IV when there's also involvement of limbic regions such as the hippocampus, and V and VI when there's extensive neocortical involvement. This should not be confused with the degree of senile plaque involvement, which progresses differently.[3]

Other conditions in which neurofibrillary tangles are commonly observed include:

In Pick's disease and corticobasal degeneration tau proteins are deposited in the form of inclusion bodies within swollen or "ballooned" neurons.[14]

Argyrophilic grain disease (AGD), another type of dementia,[15][16][17] is marked by the presence of abundant argyrophilic grains and coiled bodies on microscopic examination of brain tissue.[18] Some consider it to be a type of Alzheimer disease.[18] It may co-exist with other tauopathies such as progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration,[2] and also Pick's disease.[19]

Some other tauopathies include:

The non-Alzheimer's tauopathies are sometimes grouped together as "Pick's complex".[20][21][22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rizzo, G.; Martinelli, P.; Manners, D.; Scaglione, C.; Tonon, C.; Cortelli, P.; Malucelli, E.; Capellari, S. et al. (2008). "Diffusion-weighted brain imaging study of patients with clinical diagnosis of corticobasal degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy and Parkinson's disease". Brain 131 (Pt 10): 2690–700. doi:10.1093/brain/awn195. PMID 18819991. 
  2. ^ a b c Dickson, DW (2009). "Neuropathology of Non-Alzheimer Degenerative Disorders". International journal of clinical and experimental pathology 3 (1): 1–23. PMC 2776269. PMID 19918325. 
  3. ^ Braak, H.; Braak, E. (1991). "Neuropathological stageing of Alzheimer-related changes". Acta Neuropathologica 82 (4): 239–59. doi:10.1007/BF00308809. PMID 1759558. 
  4. ^ Williams, David R; Lees, Andrew J (2009). "Progressive supranuclear palsy: clinicopathological concepts and diagnostic challenges". The Lancet Neurology 8 (3): 270–9. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(09)70042-0. 
  5. ^ Roberts, GW (1988). "Immunocytochemistry of neurofibrillary tangles in dementia pugilistica and Alzheimer's disease: evidence for common genesis". Lancet 2 (8626–8627): 1456–8. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(88)90934-8. PMID 2904573. 
  6. ^ Selkoe, Dennis J.; Podlisny, Marcia B. (2002). "Deciphering the genetic basis of Alzheimer's disease". Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics 3: 67–99. doi:10.1146/annurev.genom.3.022502.103022. PMID 12142353. 
  7. ^ Hof, P. R.; Nimchinsky, E. A.; Bu�e-Scherrer, V.; Bu�e, L.; Nasrallah, J.; Hottinger, A. F.; Purohit, D. P.; Loerzel, A. J. et al. (1994). "Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex of Guam: quantitative neuropathology, immunohistochemical analysis of neuronal vulnerability, and comparison with related neurodegenerative disorders". Acta Neuropathologica 88 (5): 397–404. doi:10.1007/BF00389490. PMID 7847067. 
  8. ^ Santa-Maria, Ismael; Haggiagi A; Liu X; Wasserscheid J; Nelson PT; Dewar K; Clark LN; Crary JF (Nov 2012). "The MAPT H1 haplotype is associated with tangle-predominant dementia". Acta Neuropathologica 124 (5): 693. doi:10.1007/s00401-012-1017-1. PMID 22802095. 
  9. ^ Jellinger, K. A.; Attems, J. (2006). "Neurofibrillary tangle-predominant dementia: comparison with classical Alzheimer disease". Acta Neuropathologica 113 (2): 107–17. doi:10.1007/s00401-006-0156-7. PMID 17089134. 
  10. ^ Brat, Daniel J.; Gearing, Marla; Goldthwaite, Patricia T.; Wainer, Bruce H.; Burger, Peter C. (2001). "Tau-associated neuropathology in ganglion cell tumours increases with patient age but appears unrelated to ApoE genotype". Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 27 (3): 197–205. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2990.2001.00311.x. PMID 11489139. 
  11. ^ Halper, J; Scheithauer, BW; Okazaki, H; Laws Jr, ER (1986). "Meningio-angiomatosis: a report of six cases with special reference to the occurrence of neurofibrillary tangles". Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology 45 (4): 426–46. doi:10.1097/00005072-198607000-00005. PMID 3088216. 
  12. ^ Paula-Barbosa, M. M.; Brito, R.; Silva, C. A.; Faria, R.; Cruz, C. (1979). "Neurofibrillary changes in the cerebral cortex of a patient with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE)". Acta Neuropathologica 48 (2): 157–60. doi:10.1007/BF00691159. PMID 506699. 
  13. ^ Wisniewski, Krystyna; Jervis, George A.; Moretz, Roger C.; Wisniewski, Henryk M. (1979). "Alzheimer neurofibrillary tangles in diseases other than senile and presenile dementia". Annals of Neurology 5 (3): 288–94. doi:10.1002/ana.410050311. PMID 156000. 
  14. ^ Arai, Tetsuaki; Ikeda, Kenji; Akiyama, Haruhiko; Shikamoto, Yasuo; Tsuchiya, Kuniaki; Yagishita, Saburo; Beach, Thomas; Rogers, Joseph et al. (2001). "Distinct isoforms of tau aggregated in neurons and glial cells in brains of patients with Pick's disease, corticobasal degeneration and progressive supranuclear palsy". Acta Neuropathologica 101 (2): 167–73. doi:10.1007/s004010000283 (inactive 2014-03-22). PMID 11271372. 
  15. ^ Ferrer I, Santpere G, van Leeuwen FW (2008). "Argyrophilic grain disease". Brain (journal) 131 (Pt 6): 1416–1432. doi:10.1093/brain/awm305. PMID 18234698. 
  16. ^ Josephs KA, Whitwell JL, Parisi JE, Knopman DS, Boeve BF, Geda YE, Jack CR Jr, Petersen RC, Dickson DW (2008). "Argyrophilic grains: a distinct disease or an additive pathology?". Neurobiology of Aging 29 (4): 566–573. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2006.10.032. PMC 2727715. PMID 17188783. 
  17. ^ Wallon, D.; Sommervogel, C.; Laquerrière, A.; Martinaud, O.; Lecourtois, M.; Hannequin, D. (2010). "Maladie des grains argyrophiles : composante synergique de la démence ?" [Argyrophilic grain disease: synergistic component of dementia?]. Revue neurologique (in French) 166 (4): 428–32. doi:10.1016/j.neurol.2009.10.012. PMID 19963233. 
  18. ^ a b Tolnay, M; Monsch, AU; Staehelin, HB; Probst, A (1999). "Argyrophilic grain disease: differentiation from Alzheimer disease". Der Pathologe 20 (3): 159–68. PMID 10412175. 
  19. ^ Jellinger KA (1998). "Dementia with grains (argyrophilic grain disease". Brain Pathology 8 (2): 377–386. PMID 9546294. 
  20. ^ Kertesz, Andrew (2003). "Pick Complex: An Integrative Approach to Frontotemporal Dementia". The Neurologist 9 (6): 311–7. doi:10.1097/01.nrl.0000094943.84390.cf. PMID 14629785. 
  21. ^ Kertesz, Andrew (2003). "Pick's complex and FTDP-17". Movement Disorders 18: 57–62. doi:10.1002/mds.10564. 
  22. ^ Andrew Kertesz, Paul McMonagle, Mervin Blair, Wilda Davidson and David G. Munoz (July 20, 2005). "The evolution and pathology of frontotemporal dementia". Brain 128 (9): 1996–2005. doi:10.1093/brain/awh598. PMID 16033782. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tauopathy — Please support Wikipedia.
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