A β42 is the predominant form of amyloid b -protein in the brains of short-term survivors of head injury

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FATAL head injury results in the formation of diffuse parenchymal deposits of amyloid β-protein (Aβ) in the brains of approximately 30% of individuals. We used carboxyl terminal-specific antisera to examine the exact nature of these deposits in paraffin sections of neocortex from seven head-injured patients. Immunostaining for Aβ42 was observed in all parenchymal deposits whereas staining for Aβ40, the form of the protein which predominates in serum and cerebrospinal fluid, was seen in only a small proportion of deposits. The relative paucity of Aβ40 suggests that post-traumatic deposits do not arise as a result of passive leakage from damaged cerebral blood vessels but are similar to the early Aβ42 parenchymal deposits seen in Down's syndrome and Alzheimer's disease.

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