Cerebral amyloid angiopathy is a pathogenic lesion in Alzheimer's disease due to a novel presenilin 1 mutation
Dermaut, Bart Kumar-Singh, S De Jonghe, C Cruts, M Lofgren, A Lubke, U Cras, P Dom, René De Deyn, PP Martin, JJ Van Broeckhoven, C # ×
Oxford univ press
Brain vol:124 pages:2383-2392
The dense-cored plaques are considered the pathogenic type of amyloid deposition in Alzheimer's disease brains because of their predominant association with dystrophic neurites. Nevertheless, in >90% of cases of Alzheimer's disease amyloid is also deposited in cerebral blood vessel walls (congophilic amyloid angiopathy; CAA) but its role in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis remains enigmatic. Here, we report a family (family GB) in which early-onset Alzheimer's disease was caused by a novel presenilin 1 mutation (L282V). This was unusually severe CAA reminiscent of the Flemish amyloid precursor protein (A692G) mutation we reported previously, which causes Alzheimer's disease and/or cerebral haemorrhages. In family GB, however, the disease presented as typical progressive Alzheimer's disease in the absence of strokes or stroke-like episodes. Similarly, neuroimaging studies and neuropathological examination favoured a degenerative over a vascular dementia. Interestingly, an immunohistochemical study revealed that, similar to causing dense-cored amyloid plaques, CAA also appeared capable of instigating a strong local dystrophic and inflammatory reaction. This was suggested by the observed neuronal loss, the presence of tau- and ubiquitin-positive neurites, micro- and astrogliosis, and complement activation. Together, these data suggest that, like the dense-cored neuritic plaques, CAA might represent a pathogenic lesion that contributes significantly to the progressive neurodegeneration that occurs in Alzheimer's disease.