Non-familial olivopontocerebellar atrophy combined with late onset Alzheimer's disease: a clinico-pathological case report

J Neurol Sci. 1998 Jan 21;154(1):106-12. doi: 10.1016/s0022-510x(97)00209-8.


A 76-year-old woman with olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) presented with progressive intellectual deterioration. She showed cerebellar ataxia and muscle atrophy and weakness, and gradually developed generalized dementia with visuospatial disturbance. An autopsy revealed numerous senile plaques (SPs), neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and neuropil threads particularly in the CA1, subiculum and entorhinal cortex and to a lesser degree in the cerebral neocortex shown by immunostaining and specific silver impregnation techniques. The nucleus basalis of Meynert had numerous NFTs with fibrillary gliosis and neuronal cell loss. The basis pontis was markedly atrophied and the pontine nucleus had severe neuronal depopulation and gliosis. The pontine transverse fibers were demyelinated with their axons being fragmented. The cerebellar white matter was also severely degenerated. The striatum, Onuf's and intermediolateral nuclei of the spinal cord remained unchanged. Ubiquitin immunohistochemistry and Gallyas silver impregnation technique revealed oligodendroglial inclusions in the pontine nucleus, corticopontine tract, cerebral and cerebellar white matter. On double immunostaining of KP1 and ubiquitin, globular neurite SPs encircled by KP1-positive fibrous structures were found in the hippocampus and cerebral neocortex. The curly neurite SPs contained KP1-positive granules. The KP1-positive microglial cells were distributed widely in the cerebral white matter and HLA-DR-positive ones were found around the SPs. The present case showed generalized dementia compatible with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and had a pathologically limbic type of late onset AD. This is the first case where AD affected non-familial OPCA.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease* / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / physiopathology
  • Cerebellum / pathology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Olivary Nucleus / pathology
  • Olivopontocerebellar Atrophies* / complications
  • Olivopontocerebellar Atrophies* / pathology
  • Olivopontocerebellar Atrophies* / physiopathology
  • Pons / pathology