neurofibrillary tangle

noun

Definition of neurofibrillary tangle 

: a pathological accumulation of paired helical filaments composed of abnormally formed tau protein that is found chiefly in the cytoplasm of neurons of the brain and especially the cerebral cortex and hippocampus and that occurs typically in Alzheimer's disease

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The definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease requires that there be an overabundance in the brain of two proteins: beta amyloid plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles. Denise C. Park, sandiegouniontribune.com, "5 myths about Alzheimer's disease," 18 June 2018 There's even some evidence that the brains of people who are pessimistic are more likely to have the amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles associated with Alzheimer's disease. Karen Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "Pessimism about old age may be a risk factor for dementia, study finds," 7 Feb. 2018 Among the 20 brains, which came from chimps ranging in age from 37 to 62, reports Cross, 13 were found to have amyloid plaques and four were found with neurofibrillary tangles. Ben Panko, Smithsonian, "Aging Chimps Show Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease," 2 Aug. 2017 Along with dementia, Alzheimer's causes physical changes in the brain, reports Ryan Cross for Science, namely the buildup of sticky proteins called amyloid plaques and knots of tau proteins wrapped around each other called neurofibrillary tangles. Ben Panko, Smithsonian, "Aging Chimps Show Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease," 2 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'neurofibrillary tangle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of neurofibrillary tangle

1963, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of neurofibrillary tangle was in 1963

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neurofibrillary tangle

noun

Medical Definition of neurofibrillary tangle 

: a pathological accumulation of paired helical filaments composed of abnormally formed tau protein that is found chiefly in the cytoplasm of nerve cells of the brain and especially the cerebral cortex and hippocampus and that occurs typically in Alzheimer's disease

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