Evolution of Alzheimer's disease related cortical lesions.
Alzheimer's disease is an immutably progressing dementing disorder. Its major pathologic hallmark is the gradual development of neurofibrillary changes in a few susceptible nerve cell types. The cortical changes do not occur inevitably with advancing age. Once the disease has begun, spontaneous recovery or remissions are not observed. The initial changes develop in poorly myelinated areas of the temporal lobe. The destructive process then follows a predictable pattern as it extends into other cortical areas. Advanced age is not a prerequisite for the evolution of the lesions. Alzheimer's disease is thus an age-related, but not an age-dependent disease. The spread of the neurofibrillary changes resembles the process of cortical myelination, however in reverse order.