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Pathology Research International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 236346, 7 pages
Research Article

Laminar Distribution of the Pathological Changes in Sporadic and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Department of Vision Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK

Received 25 August 2010; Accepted 11 November 2010

Academic Editor: S. K. Shankar

Copyright © 2011 R. A. Armstrong. 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.


The laminar distributions of the pathological changes in the cerebral cortex were compared in the prion diseases sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) and variant CJD (vCJD). First, in some cortical regions, the vacuolation (“spongiform change”) was more generally distributed across the cortex in sCJD. Second, there was greater neuronal loss in the upper cortex in vCJD and in the lower cortex in sCJD. Third, the “diffuse” and “florid” prion protein ( P r P s c ) deposits were more frequently distributed in the upper cortex in vCJD and the “synaptic” deposits in the lower cortex in sCJD. Fourth, there was a significant gliosis mainly affecting the lower cortex of both disorders. The data suggest that the pattern of cortical degeneration is different in sCJD and vCJD which may reflect differences in aetiology and the subsequent spread of prion pathology within the brain.