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November 1985

Neurochemical Changes in White Matter: Aged Human Brain and Alzheimer's Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, Boston University Medical Center (Dr Malone); and the Medical and Research Service, Bedford (Mass) Veterans Administration Hospital (Ms Szoke).

Arch Neurol. 1985;42(11):1063-1066. doi:10.1001/archneur.1985.04060100045019

• We report a reduction in isolatable myelin in white matter from regional areas of aged human brain. This decrease was most prominent in association subcortex of Alzheimer's material. We also found structural changes in myelin lipids. These changes involved an increase in unsaturated acyl chains and suggest an agerelated instability of subcortical white matter. This specific chemical change in myelin glycosphingolipids has been found in all regional areas of normal aged and Alzheimer's brain material. This remains an age-related molecular change that seems unrelated to the pathophysiology of senile dementia of the Alzheimer's type.