In 1894, Binswanger1 introduced the term chronic progressive subcortical encephalitis to designate a noninflammatory disease, an uncommon form of cerebral arteriosclerosis, in which atrophy of the white matter and an intact gray matter of the cerebral hemispheres were the striking distinguishing anatomic features. Soon afterward, Alzheimer2 substantiated the observations of Binswanger and amplified them with his own. He, also, reached the conclusion that the disease is an unique and outspoken form of arteriosclerosis, in which the deep medullary vessels are mainly affected, and hence the deep subcortical layers are subjected to the degenerative process. Because of the locally selective character of the lesion, Alzheimer was almost tempted to consider it as a form of system disease of the brain.
In the typical instance, according to both Binswanger and Alzheimer, the gray matter is usually intact, showing only in the rare case slight alterations in organization and cell structure.
FARNELL FJ, GLOBUS JH. CHRONIC PROGRESSIVE VASCULAR SUBCORTICAL ENCEPHALOPATHY: CHRONIC PROGRESSIVE SUBCORTICAL ENCEPHALITIS OF BINSWANGER. Arch NeurPsych. 1932;27(3):593–604. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archneurpsyc.1932.02230150109006
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