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  • 1.
    Alafuzoff, Irina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Clinical and experimental pathology.
    Minimal neuropathologic diagnosis for brain banking in the normal middle-aged and aged brain and in neurodegenerative disorders.2018In: Handbook of Clinical Neurology, ISSN 0072-9752, E-ISSN 2212-4152, Vol. 150, p. 131-141, article id B978-0-444-63639-3.00010-4Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research on human brain diseases is currently often conducted on cell cultures and animals. Several questions however can only be addressed by studying human postmortem brain tissue. However, brain tissue obtained postmortem almost always displays pathology that is often related to the aging phenomenon. Thus, in order to be certain that the answers obtained are reliable, a systematic and thorough assessment of the brain tissue to be studied should be carried out. We are currently aware of several protein alterations that are found in middle-aged and aged brains that are obtained from neurologically unimpaired subjects. The most common alteration is hyperphosphorylation of τ, observed in both neurons and glial cells, in certain brain regions, followed by β-amyloid aggregation in the neuropil and vessel walls. Less common protein alterations are those noted for α-synuclein and Tar DNA-binding protein 43. It is noteworthy that these alterations, when found in excess, are diagnostic for various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer disease, Pick disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, Parkinson disease, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Since 1990, the neuropathology community has been aware that these protein alterations tend to progress in an orderly neuroanatomically defined manner and have thus designed a method to define a stage or a phase of the protein alteration. The neuropathology community has defined an initiation site, or neuroanatomic area that they presume the alteration originates from, and defined a presumed pattern of progression from the initiation site to other brain areas. Thus a reliable and reproducible description of each case regarding these alterations can be achieved. In addition to the above alterations, the brain tissue is also prone to various vascular alterations that should be registered as seen or not seen even if the significance of these alterations is still unclear.

  • 2.
    Alafuzoff, Irina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Clinical and experimental pathology.
    Techniques in neuropathology.2017In: Handbook of Clinical Neurology, ISSN 0072-9752, E-ISSN 2212-4152, Vol. 145, p. 3-7, article id B978-0-12-802395-2.00001-8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The primary objective for a neuropathologist is the characterization of the tissue that is being assessed and thus all available techniques ranging from naked-eye examination to assessment of genetic/epigenetic characteristics are currently applied. What is observed in the tissue obtained from a diseased subject is compared with what is observed in a healthy individual and, based on the outcome, neuropathologic definitions of diseases are constructed. Thus, with the naked eye a neuropathologist can confirm that a hemorrhage is observed in the brain, by histologic examination that the hemorrhage is caused by alterations in the brain vessels and, since 1954, applying Congo red dye neuropathologists have been able to state that congophilic angiopathy is detected. Since 1984, applying immunohistochemical methods neuropathologists have been able to verify that the protein seen in the vessel walls is β-amyloid and by genetic/epigenetic analysis eventual mutation or modifications of genome might be detected. The development of new techniques is staggering and throughout this book the authors have listed techniques currently applied while assessing various disease-related hallmark lesions. In the following a general summary of techniques applied is given.

  • 3.
    Alafuzoff, Irina
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Clinical and experimental pathology.
    Hartikainen, Päivi
    Alpha-synucleinopathies.2017In: Handbook of Clinical Neurology, ISSN 0072-9752, E-ISSN 2212-4152, Vol. 145, p. 339-353, article id B978-0-12-802395-2.00024-9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A neurodegenerative disorder displaying an altered α-synuclein (αS) in the brain tissue is called α-synucleinopathy (αS-pathy) and incorporates clinical entities such as Parkinson disease (PD), PD with dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and multiple-system atrophy. Neuroradiologic techniques visualizing αS pathology in the brain or assays of αS in the cerebrospinal fluid or blood are probably available and will be implemented in the near future but currently the definite diagnosis of αS-pathy relies on a postmortem examination of the brain. Since the 1980s immunohistochemical technique based on the use of antibodies directed to proteins of interest has become a method of choice for neuropathologic diagnosis. Furthermore, since the 1990s it has been acknowledged that progressions of most neurodegenerative pathologies follow a certain predictable time-related neuroanatomic distribution. Currently, for Lewy body disease, two staging techniques are commonly used: McKeith and Braak staging. Thus, the neuropathologic diagnosis of a αS-pathy is based on detection of altered αS in the tissue and registration of the neuroanatomic distribution of this alteration in the brain. The clinicopathologic correlation is not absolute due to the quite frequent observation of incidental and concomitant αS pathology.

  • 4.
    Alafuzoff, Irina
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Clinical and experimental pathology.
    Kovacs, Gabor G
    Comorbidities.2017In: Handbook of Clinical Neurology, ISSN 0072-9752, E-ISSN 2212-4152, Vol. 145, p. 573-577, article id B978-0-12-802395-2.00036-5Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The term comorbidities or mixed pathologies is used when brain tissue, a surgical sample, or postmortem brain displays a mixture of protein alterations or other pathologies. Most of the alterations when seen in sufficient extent are considered causative, are related to a certain clinical phenotype, i.e., when hyperphosphorylated τ (HPτ) is observed in occipital cortex concomitant with β-amyloid (Aβ), the diagnosis is Alzheimer disease (AD). When HPτ is observed in hippocampal structures in a subject with extensive and widespread α-synuclein pathology, a Lewy body disease (LBD), the HPτ pathology is considered as a concomitant alteration. There are numerous reports indicating that when "concomitant" pathologies are seen in a subject with certain neurodegenerative diseases, the clinical phenotype might be altered. In addition there are those cases where many alterations are seen in a sparse extent, but jointly they lead to a clinical syndrome. Thus today it is not sufficient to confirm a certain pathology to be seen, i.e., AD- or LBD-related; in addition the concomitant aging-related alterations have to be looked for.

  • 5. Kovacs, Gabor G
    et al.
    Alafuzoff, Irina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Clinical and experimental pathology.
    Preface.2017In: Handbook of Clinical Neurology, ISSN 0072-9752, E-ISSN 2212-4152, Vol. 145, article id ixArticle in journal (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Larsson, Elna-Marie
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Radiology.
    Wikström, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Radiology.
    Overview of neuroradiology.2017In: Handbook of Clinical Neurology, ISSN 0072-9752, E-ISSN 2212-4152, Vol. 145, p. 579-599, article id B978-0-12-802395-2.00037-7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Neuroradiology with computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is essential for the initial evaluation of patients with a clinical suspicion of brain and spine disorders. Morphologic imaging is required to obtain a probable diagnosis to support the treatment decisions in pre- and perinatal disorders, vascular diseases, traumatic injuries, metabolic disorders, epilepsy, infection/inflammation, neurodegenerative disorders, degenerative spinal disease, and tumors of the central nervous system. Different postprocessing tools are increasingly used for three-dimensional visualization and quantification of lesions. Additional information is provided by angiographic methods and physiologic CT and MRI techniques, such as diffusion MRI, perfusion CT/MRI, MR spectroscopy, functional MRI, tractography, and nuclear medicine imaging methods. Positron emission tomography (PET) is now integrated with CT (PET/CT), and PET/MR scanners have recently also been introduced. These hybrid techniques facilitate the co-registration of lesions with different modalities, and give new possibilites for functional imaging. Repeated imaging is increasingly performed for treatment monitoring. The improved imaging techniques together with the neuropathologic diagnosis after biopsy or surgery allow more personalized treatment of the patient. Neuroradiology also includes endovascular treatment of aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations as well as thrombectomy in acute stroke. This catheter-based treatment has replaced invasive neurosurgery in many cases.

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