Brain small

Autopsy Pathology Services provides brain autopsies in order to determine dementia type. Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease are the most common neurological disorders in the aging population causing dementia and motor deficits. In these diseases as well as in other neurological conditions of the elderly population the main reason for the clinical manifestations is the loss of nerve cells and their connections in specific brain regions accompanied by the deposition of abnormal proteins. Currently there are no blood tests available to perform easy and fast diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Although the neurological manifestations allow the doctor to perform a tentative diagnosis, in most cases it is very difficult to make a definitive diagnosis unless a brain sample is available for pathological (microscopic analysis), in most cases and because the morbidity associated with a brain biopsy the diagnosis is performed after death by an autopsy limited to the brain. In this procedure the neuropathologist looks for the presence of the landmark lesions characteristic for all neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Pick's Disease, fronto-temporal dementia, multi-infract dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, Huntington's disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Vascular Dementia and many others. Our service is associated with a national laboratory dedicated to the study of neurological diseases of the aging populations. We have all the state of the art tools for reliable postmortem pathological diagnosis of these diseases.


Alzheimer’s Disease

A form of presenile dementia, involves progressive, irreversible memory loss, deterioration of intellectual functions, apathy, speech, and disorientation. Onset is usually between ages 40 and 60

Parkinson’s Disease

A chronic nervous disease characterized by a fine, slowly spreading tremor, muscular weakness, and rigidity

Pick’s Disease

A form of presenile dementia, involves progressive, irreversible memory loss, deterioration of intellectual functions, disordered emotions, apathy, speech disturbances, and disorientation. Usually occurs between ages 40 and 60, more often in women than men

Fronto-Temporal Dementia

A rare form of dementia with frontal lobe degeneration and dementia associated with motor neuron disease. People with this form of dementia lack insight and lose the ability to empathize with others. They may appear selfish and unfeeling. Become extrovert when they were previously introverted, or withdrawn when they were previously outgoing

Multi-Infarct Demetia

A dementia resulting from damage to the cerebral blood vessels characterized by absence or impairment of the ability to communicate through speech and writing. Unable to read (not due to visual impairment) and the inability to use objects properly. Onset occurs in middle age after an episode of hypertension or stroke

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)

A central nervous system disease that causes presenile dementia, twitching or spasm of a muscle or muscle groups, and distinctive EEG changes

Huntington’s Disease

An inherited disease of the central nervous system that usually has its onset between 30 and 50 years of age. It is a progressive dementia with bizarre involuntary movements and abnormal posture

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)

A rare disease that gradually destroys nerve cells in the parts of the brain that control eye movements, breathing, and muscle coordination. The loss of nerve cells causes palsy, or paralysis, that slowly gets worse as the disease progresses

Vascular Dementia

Dementia is usually the result of infarction (strokes) of the brain due to vascular diseases, including hypertensive cerebrovascular disease. The infarcts are usually small but cumulative in their effect. Typically, there is a history of transient ischemic attacks with brief impairment of consciousness, fleeting pareses, or visual loss