Neuropathology of Atypical Alzheimer's Disease

The nature of patterns is what first drew Dr. Murray to the fields of neuroimaging and neuropathology. The changing shape of the hippocampus is a useful pattern utilized as a biomarker in Alzheimer's disease. What became evident from neuropathologic studies, however, is that not all Alzheimer's disease cases have an affected hippocampus.

To objectively capture Alzheimer's disease subtypes, Dr. Murray designed a mathematical algorithm. Three subtypes emerged with striking demographic and clinical differences. Using advanced digital pathology techniques, the Translational Neuropathology Lab is investigating the relationship with coexisting neuropathologies, such as vascular disease and the overall effect on the death of a neuron. The lab has discovered evidence that supports the differential involvement of the cholinergic system across Alzheimer's disease subtypes, and that evidence may have therapeutic implications.

This work is supported by funding from the National Institute on Aging.