Tau protein pathology in neurodegenerative diseases

Trends Neurosci. 1998 Oct;21(10):428-33. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(98)01337-x.


Abundant tau-positive neurofibrillary lesions constitute a defining neuropathological characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. Filamentous tau pathology is also central to a number of other dementing disorders, such as Pick's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration and familial frontotemporal dementia and Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17). The discovery of mutations in the tau gene in FTDP-17 has firmly established the relevance of tau pathology for the neurodegenerative process. Experimental studies have provided a system for the assembly of full-length tau into Alzheimer-like filaments, providing an assay for the testing of compounds that inhabit the formation of tau filaments.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 17 / genetics
  • Dementia / pathology
  • Dementia / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / genetics*
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / pathology
  • Neurofibrils / pathology
  • Point Mutation / genetics
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • tau Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • tau Proteins / genetics


  • tau Proteins