Assessment of Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related neurofibrillary pathology requires a procedure that permits a sufficient differentiation between initial, intermediate, and late stages. The gradual deposition of a hyperphosphorylated tau protein within select neuronal types in specific nuclei or areas is central to the disease process. The staging of AD-related neurofibrillary pathology originally described in 1991 was performed on unconventionally thick sections (100 mum) using a modern silver technique and reflected the progress of the disease process based chiefly on the topographic expansion of the lesions. To better meet the demands of routine laboratories this procedure is revised here by adapting tissue selection and processing to the needs of paraffin-embedded sections (5-15 mum) and by introducing a robust immunoreaction (AT8) for hyperphosphorylated tau protein that can be processed on an automated basis. It is anticipated that this revised methodological protocol will enable a more uniform application of the staging procedure.