The subthalamic nucleus has neurofibrillary tangles in argyrophilic grain disease and advanced Alzheimer's disease

Petri Mattila, Takashi Togo, Dennis W. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) are present in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) of progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration, two sporadic tauopathies with preferential accumulation of tau with four repeats in the microtubule binding domain (4R tau). Since recent evidence suggests that argyrophilic grain disease (AGD) is also a 4R tauopathy, we hypothesized that the STN may also be affected in AGD. Tau immunostaining was used to evaluate NFT in the STN in 18 cases of AGD compared with 18 non-AGD cases matched for age, sex and Braak stage. AGD cases had significantly more NFT in the STN than non-AGD cases (P = 0.008) with no relationship between NFT score and Braak stage. Surprisingly, NFT were also found in the STN of some non-AGD cases, notably in cases with advanced Braak stage (i.e. Alzheimer's disease). When AGD and non-AGD were considered as a whole there was a correlation between neurofibrillary degeneration in the STN and Braak stage. This study demonstrates that neurofibrillary degeneration is frequent in the STN in AGD, but also detected in non-AGD cases with advanced Braak stage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2002



  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Argyrophilic grain disease
  • Neurofibrillary tangles
  • Subthalamic nucleus
  • Tau immunostaining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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