In Professor Spielmeyer's laboratory what may be called Pick's cells have from time to time been observed in pathologic states other than Pick's disease. Von Braunmühl1 and Merritt and Springlova2 have described Pick's cells in cases of Lissauer's dementia paralytica. It became of interest to know to what extent these cells were to be found apart from this disease entity. From the resulting study a conception of the pathogenesis of these cells was developed. Moreover, the parallel between Pick's cells and axonal chromatolysis (primäre Reizung) became apparent.
With Nissl's stain Pick's cells are usually swollen, ballooned-out structures having an oval or globular outline. There is a loss of axial direction and lessened prominence of the cell processes, especially of the apical dendrite. Nissl's bodies disappear or remnants remain at the periphery. The cytoplasm takes on a pale, frosted-glass appearance. The nucleus is displaced to the extreme rim of
H. W. WILLIAMS. THE PECULIAR CELLS OF PICK'S DISEASETHEIR PATHOGENESIS AND DISTRIBUTION IN DISEASE. Arch NeurPsych. 1935;34(3):508–519. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1935.02250210029002