Azzarelli et al reported an Indiana kindred affected by a hereditary disorder, characterized clinically by ataxia, parkinsonism, and dementia. Recently, we studied neuropathologically the 3rd and 4th cases that came to autopsy among the patients of this family. As in 2 patients examined previously, amyloid plaques were widespread throughout the cerebrum and the cerebellum, whereas neurofibrillary tangles were numerous in the cerebral cortex, the hippocampus, and the substantia innomineta. Amyloid plaques were not recognized by polyclonal antibodies against the Alzheimer’s disease amyloid A4 protein, but did contain epitopes recognized by antibodies against a prion protein. Spongiform changes were occasionally observed and were mild. Our findings indicate that this familial disorder is a form of or is related to Cerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease. The consistent presence of numerous neurofibrillary tangles may be important in differentiating a distinct subgroup of patients with familial Cerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease, and indicates that a disturbance of the cytoskeleton might be part of the neuronal pathology of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology