Neuron volumes in hippocampal subfields in delayed poststroke and aging-related dementias

Elizabeth Gemmell, Edward Tam, Louise Allan, Roslyn Hall, Ahmad Khundakar, Arthur E. Oakley, Alan Thomas, Vincent Deramecourt, Raj N. Kalaria

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    Abstract

    Hippocampal atrophy is widely recognized in Alzheimer disease (AD). Whether neurons within hippocampal subfields are similarly affected in other aging-related dementias, particularly after stroke, remains an open question. We investigated hippocampal CA3 and CA4 pyramidal neuron volumes and densities using 3-dimensional stereologic techniques in postmortem samples from a total of 67 subjects: poststoke demented (PSD; n = 11), nondemented stroke survivors (PSND) and PSD patients from the CogFAST (Cognitive Function After Stroke) cohort (n = 13), elderly controls (n = 12), and subjects diagnosed as having vascular dementia (n = 11), AD (n = 10), and mixed AD and vascular dementia (n = 10). We found that CA3 and CA4 neuron volumes were reduced in PSD samples compared with those in PSND samples. The CA3 and CA4 neuron volumes were positively correlated with poststroke global cognitive function but were not associated with the burden of AD pathology. There were no differences in total neuron densities in either subfield in any of the groups studied. Our results indicate that selective reductions in CA4 and to a lesser extent CA3 neuron volumes may be related to post stroke cognitive impairment and aging-related dementias. These data suggest that CA4 neurons are vulnerable to disease processes and support our previous finding that a reduction in hippocampal neuron volume predominantly reflects vascular mechanisms as contributing to dementia after stroke.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)305-311
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
    Volume73
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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