Evidence for degenerative and regenerative changes in neostriatal spiny neurons in Huntington's disease

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Science  15 Feb 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4688, pp. 770-773
DOI: 10.1126/science.3155875


Golgi impregnations of neostriatum from deceased Huntington's disease patients and controls were examined. In all cases of Huntington's disease the morphology of dendrites of medium-sized spiny neurons was markedly altered by the appearance of recurved endings and appendages, a decrease or increase in the density of spines, and abnormalities in the size and shape of spines. Pathological changes were rarely observed in medium-sized and large aspiny neostriatal neurons. The findings provide evidence for simultaneous degeneration and growth of spiny neurons in Huntington's disease and support the view that a specific population of neostriatal neurons is selectively involved in its pathogenesis.

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