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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The human dorsal spinocerebellar tract: myelinated fiber spectrum and fiber density in controls, autosomal dominant spinocerebellar atrophy, Huntington's chorea, radiation myelopathy, and diseases with peripheral sensory nerve involvement.

The human dorsal spinocerebellar tract (DSCT) was evaluated morphometrically in 14 control cases of different age and sex using semithin sections of epon-embedded cross sections from the C3, T5, and T10 segments of the spinal cord. A bimodal fiber spectrum was revealed with one peak at 2-3 microns, and a second, broader peak at about 6-8 microns. Fiber density at C3 was 11,188 fibers/mm2 and at T5, 11,156 fibers/mm2. Regression analysis relating fiber density to age disclosed a highly significant loss of myelinated fibers at T5 amounting to about 2.5% per decade. A severe reduction of fiber density and a distinct change in the fiber spectrum with predominant loss of large myelinated fibers were noted in a case of autosomal dominant spinocerebellar atrophy with late onset, and, to a lesser degree, in a case of Huntington's chorea. A subtotal loss of fibers with a persistent normal distribution of fiber sizes was observed rostral to a focus of severe radiation myelopathy, indicating Wallerian degeneration of large numbers of fibers, and a reduction of fiber diameters caudal to the lesion, suggesting retrograde fiber change. By contrast, no primary or transneural changes in the DSCT were detected in six cases of long-term alcoholism, carcinomatous sensory neuropathy, and neurofibromatosis in spite of the involvement of numerous nerve roots.[1]


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