A quantitative comparison of plaque types in Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia of the Lewy body type

Acta Neuropathol. 1996;91(5):526-9. doi: 10.1007/s004010050461.


In a previous study we reported no difference in the overall beta-amyloid protein (beta AP) load between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and senile dementia of the Lewy body type (SDLT). However, it is possible that differences in the morphology of beta AP plaque types exist, analogous to the differences in cytoskeletal pathology found in these two disorders. We have carried out a quantitative image analysis of plaque subtypes in the temporal lobe of AD (n = 8), SDLT (n = 9) and control (n = 11) cases. Measurements of beta AP load and plaque density were consistently higher in AD and SDLT than in controls. When AD and SDLT cases were compared no differences were seen in either the density or relative proportions of classic and diffuse plaques. Based on these results we suggest that the variation in the clinical course of these diseases reflects differences in the cytoskeletal pathology, whereas the final stages of profound dementia common to both disorders is associated with the deposition of beta AP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / analysis
  • Dementia / metabolism
  • Dementia / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lewy Bodies / chemistry
  • Lewy Bodies / pathology*
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / chemistry
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / pathology*


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides