Correlation of clinical features with argyrophilic grains at autopsy

Marwan N. Sabbagh, Sonny S. Sandhu, Martin R. Farlow, Linda Vedders, Holly A. Shill, John N. Caviness, Donald J. Connor, Lucia Sue, Charles H. Adler, Thomas G. Beach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Argyrophilic grains (AGs) are a pathologic feature found in association with neurodegenerative disease. Some have suggested that these features may occur as a distinctive condition. We reviewed 80 subjects from our tissue bank with pathologically confirmed AGs and identified their clinical features. We compared these subjects' features to the features of subjects with matched clinical diagnoses but without AGs. Subjects with AGs represented 21.7% of the entire autopsy sample from 1999 to 2005 (80 out of 367). Of Alzheimer disease (AD) subjects, 43 out of 233 had AGs (18.4% of AD subjects); 11 out of 42 Parkinson disease with dementia subjects had AGs (26.1% of Parkinson disease with dementia subjects); 2 out of 9 dementia with Lewy bodies subjects had AGs (22.2% of dementia with Lewy bodies subjects); 4 out of 15 mild cognitive impairment subjects had AGs (26.7% of mild cognitive impairment subjects); and 20 out of 68 cognitively normal subjects had AGs (29.4% of cognitively normal). Subjects with AGs tended to be older but only significantly so in AD. Many comorbid non-neurologic health conditions were seen in cases of AGs without any single predilection emerging. AGs occur in approximately 22% of the entire autopsy cohort and are likely associated with advanced age. No distinctive antemortem clinical features were over represented in the AG cases. AGs can occur with or without neurodegenerative conditions and can occur in the absence of significant cognitive decline. AGs are not clearly associated with any single comorbid health condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-233
Number of pages5
JournalAlzheimer disease and associated disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Argyrophilic grains
  • Dementia
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuropathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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