Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Olfactory tau pathology in Alzheimer disease and mild cognitive impairment

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Johannes Attems


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


OBJECTIVE: To examine the occurrence of tau pathology in the olfactory system in aged subjects and its relation to the severity of Alzheimer disease (AD) pathology. MATERIAL AND METHODS: 273 autopsy cases (167 female, 106 male, aged 61-102, mean 83.2+/-4.5 SD years) underwent a standard neuropathological assessment with immuno-histochemical study of tau and Abeta amyloid in the olfactory bulb and nerve, and diagnosis of AD using established consensus criteria including Braak staging of neuritic AD pathology. RESULTS: All cases of definite AD (Braak stages 5 and 6, n = 96) showed large numbers of neuropil threads and neurofibrillary tangles, with amyloid deposits in 50%, and neuritic plaques only in two cases. Braak stage 4 (n = 73) was associated with tau pathology in the olfactory system in 90.4 and amyloid deposits in 9%, Braak stage 3 (n = 56) with mainly mild to moderate olfactory tau lesions in 44.6 and Abeta deposits in 9%. Braak stage 2 (n = 22) showed olfactory tau pathology in 36.4% without amyloid deposits, whereas Braak stages 0 and 1 (n = 25) were all negative. Olfactory tau pathology showed highly significant correlation with neuritic Braak staging in the brain, while both scores showed significant but low correlation with age. CONCLUSIONS: These data confirm previous studies demonstrating considerable tau pathology in the olfactory system in all definite AD cases, in more than 2/3 of limbic AD and in more than 1/3 of elderly individuals with or without mild cognitive impairment associated with Braak stage 2. Clinical dementia correlated with both Braak and olfactory tau scores, indicating that both are associated with a high risk of cognitive decline.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Attems J, Jellinger KA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Neuropathology

Year: 2006

Volume: 25

Issue: 6

Pages: 265-271

ISSN (print): 0722-5091

Publisher: Dustri-Verlag Dr. Karl Feistle


PubMed id: 17140156

Notes: Attems, J Jellinger, K A Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Germany Clinical neuropathology Clin Neuropathol. 2006 Nov-Dec;25(6):265-71.