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October 1995

τ Ubiquitin, and αB-Crystallin Immunohistochemistry Define the Principal Causes of Degenerative Frontotemporal Dementia

Author Affiliations

Medical From the Division of Molecular Pathology, Department of Pathology, Manchester University Med'u School (Mr Cooper and Dr Mann), and the Department of Pathology, University of Nottingham Medical School, Queens Medical Centre (Drs Jackson and Lowe and Mr Lennox), England.

Arch Neurol. 1995;52(10):1011-1015. doi:10.1001/archneur.1995.00540340103019

Objective:  We investigated the use of immunostaining with antibodies to τ, ubiquitin, and αB-crystallin in defining a protocol for the staged neuropathologic examination of brains from patients with a progressive frontotemporal dementia.

Design:  Brains obtained from 50 patients dying with the clinical diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia were examined histopathologically to define pathologic distinctions.

Setting:  Two university hospital neuropathology departments.

Results:  Anti-τ immunostaining defined corticobasal degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and Pick's disease; antiubiquitin defined motor neuron disease with dementia. The remaining brains have frontal lobe degeneration: the use of αB-crystallin immunostaining, on these, to detect ballooned neurons may help to define two groups of patients, one of which we believe may represent a variant of Pick's disease.

Conclusion:  These findings indicate that immunostaining with these antibodies is essential for the evaluation of frontal dementia.

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