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No global loss of neocortical neurons in parkinson's disease: A quantitative stereological study

Authors

  • Kamilla M. Pedersen MD,

    1. Research Laboratory for Stereology and Neuroscience, H.S. Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Lisbeth Marner MD,

    1. Research Laboratory for Stereology and Neuroscience, H.S. Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Henning Pakkenberg MD, DMSc,

    1. Research Laboratory for Stereology and Neuroscience, H.S. Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Bente Pakkenberg MD, DMSc

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Laboratory for Stereology and Neuroscience, H.S. Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
    • Research Laboratory for Stereology and Neuroscience, H:S Bispebjerg University Hospital, Bispebjerg Bakke 23, 2400 Copenhagen NV, Denmark
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Abstract

The global total number of neocortical neurons was estimated in 10 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD; mean age, 74.8 years; range, 68–83) and compared to 12 comparison subjects (mean age, 75.8 years; range, 70 – 84). The total mean neocortical neuron number in the patients with PD was 18.6 × 109 with a coefficient of variation (CV = SD/mean) of 0.18, which was not statistically significantly different from that of the controls (18.8 × 109; CV = 0.16; P = 0.90). In contrast to some studies reporting neocortical atrophy this was not confirmed in our study, where the mean volume of neocortex was the same in the two groups (P = 0.59). No difference was found in the volume of white matter, central gray structures, archicortex, or the ventricular system between the two groups. Most patients with PD develop cognitive disturbances with time, and this study cannot exclude that local neuron loss in specific subpopulations of neocortical neurons or cell loss in small but essential neocortical subregions may be part of the structural defects of PD. © 2004 Movement Disorder Society

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