The Possible Applications (and Pitfalls!) of Stereological Analysis in Postmortem Brain Research

Ahmad Khundakar, Alan J. Thomas

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    Stereological analysis represents the "gold standard" for the unbiased assessment of the structural components comprising the brain. Herbert Haug's seminal study highlights the perils of using a ratio estimator, such as density, as an indicator of the total number of neurons in defined brain regions. The less rigorous cutting and sampling regime for typical 2D morphometric approaches may initially represent an avoidable situation, but also one that could be resolved by modifying the procedure for brain banking. Postmortem human tissue is subject to a range of uncontrolled and potentially confounding factors. Autolysis of the brain is believed to commence at death, but its effect on mRNA, proteins and morphometric measures may not be realized until sometime afterward. Optimal analysis of brain tissue using design-based stereology requires proper tissue sampling at dissection.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNeurostereology
    Subtitle of host publicationUnbiased Stereology of Neural Systems
    PublisherWiley
    Pages129-138
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)9781118444177
    ISBN (Print)9781118444214
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2013

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  • Cite this

    Khundakar, A., & Thomas, A. J. (2013). The Possible Applications (and Pitfalls!) of Stereological Analysis in Postmortem Brain Research. In Neurostereology: Unbiased Stereology of Neural Systems (pp. 129-138). Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118444177.ch10