Progressing encephalomyelopathy with muscular atrophy, induced by aluminum powder

Orso Bugiani, Bernardino Ghetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


The injection of aluminum powder into the cerebrospinal fluid of adult rabbits induced a slowly progressing encephalomyelopathy characterized at first by alteration of posture and then by myoclonic jerks and muscle weakness. N Neurofibrillary degeneration was the hallmark of the disease and involved most of the gray areas. Giant axonal swellings were also numerous, particularly in the proximal axonal segment of neurons of the anterior horns. In the anterior horns the number of neurons with neurofibrillary degeneration decreased with time, while the images of neuronophagia increased in number in the rabbits killed in the second and third month after aluminum injection. In these animals there were also pathologic changes in the peripheral nerves and muscles. The peripheral nerve showed wallerian-like degeneration. Furthermore, in some a animals, the presence of nodal axonal swellings and of paranodal myelin retraction were expression also of a distal axonopathy. Neurogenic muscular atrophy appeared in animals sacrificed in the second and third month after injection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-222
Number of pages14
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982


  • Aluminum (metallic) powder
  • Axonal swellings
  • Axonopathy
  • Encephalomyelopathy
  • Lower motor neuron
  • Neurofibrillary degeneration
  • Neurogenic muscular atrophy
  • Neuronophagia
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Rabbits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

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