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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 7, Issue 3-4, Pages 175-180

Pathways and Patterns of Cell Loss in Verified Alzheimer’s Disease: A Factor and Cluster Analysis of Clinico-Pathological Subgroups

H. Förstl,1,3 R. Levy,1 A. Burns,1 P. Luthert,2 and N. Cairns3

1Section of Old Age Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
2Department of Neuropathology, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
3MRC Alzheimer's Disease Brain Bank, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK

Received 1 January 1994; Accepted 7 July 1994

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thirty-seven patients with neuropathologically verified Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been studied prospectively. A principal components analysis of neuron numbers in cortical and subcortical areas revealed two variables: Variable I with high loadings for the hippocampo-parahippocampo-parietal neuron counts and Variable II with high loadings for coeruleo-frontal cell numbers. Both may reflect functional neuroanatomical connections which may act as pathways of neurodegeneration in AD. A cluster analysis based on these neuron numbers yielded three groups of patients: Cluster A with low hippocampo-parahippocampo-parietal cell counts, Cluster B with well-preserved neuron numbers, and Cluster C with low coeruleo-frontal neuron numbers. Differences in clinical features between these patient groups indicated the potential clinical relevance of these clusters.