The Neuropathology core provides complete brain banking and neuropathology diagnostic services for the Pittsburgh ADRC. To assure banking of excellent quality tissues with short post-mortem times, autopsies arc performed on a 24 hour basis. The brain is bisected sagittally at the time of autopsy. The right half is dissected for distribution to ADRC investigators and flash-frozen banking. The left half of the brain is fixed and made available for magnetic resonance imaging. After fixation the left hemi-brain is extensively sampled for neuropathology diagnostic tests including H&E, Congo Red, immunocytochemical and silver stains. Microscopic analysis of the left hemi-brain is performed according to a modification of the revised CERAD protocol. In addition to the differential diagnostics for neurodegenerative diseases, those brains found to possess changes of Alzheimer's Disease are staged according to published criteria of tangle densities. The brain bank is catalogued and correlated with neuropathology diagnoses to make available well characterized tissues to ADRC and other investigators. Neuropathology diagnoses are supplied to the ADRC database and families within one month of death. As of 1993 the neuropathology core banks approximately 50 ADRC autopsies per year. Additionally 100 control brains will be banked and characterized by routine gross and microscopic neuropathologic examination. The core maintains a reference laboratory (including a Ar/Kr laser confocal microscope and workstation) for development of detailed and quantitative analyses.

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National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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University of Pittsburgh
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