Variant Alzheimer's disease with spastic paraparesis and cotton wool plaques is caused by PS-1 mutations that lead to exceptionally high amyloid-beta concentrations

Ann Neurol. 2000 Nov;48(5):806-8.


We describe 3 new families affected by Alzheimer's disease with spastic paraparesis. In affected individuals, including the earliest known patient with this clinical syndrome, neuropathological examination revealed large "cotton wool" plaques similar to those we have previously described in a Finnish family. In the families in which DNA was available, presenilin-1 mutations were observed. Transfection of cells with these mutant genes caused exceptionally large increases in secreted Abeta42 levels. Furthermore, brain tissue from individuals with this syndrome had very high amyloid-beta concentrations. These findings define the molecular pathogenesis of an important subgroup of Alzheimer's disease and have implications for the pathogenesis of the disease in general.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / analysis*
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Paraparesis, Spastic / complications
  • Paraparesis, Spastic / genetics*
  • Paraparesis, Spastic / pathology*


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides