Anderson-Fabry's disease: Neuropathological and neurochemical investigation

F. Tagliavini, V. Pietrini, F. Gemignani, A. Lechi, A. Pallini, A. Federico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A clinical, neuropathological and neurochemical study of a case of Anderson-Fabry's disease is described. The clinical course mainly consisted of repeated icuts with major involvement of the CNS. The neuropathological examination is dominated by severe alterations in the cerebral vessels due to glycolipid deposits on the walls, with reduction or occlusion of the lumen. This is correlated with secondary ischaemic foci scattered throughout the cortex as well as through the white matter. In addition, the cells of the cerebral cortex, thalamus, basal ganglia, amygdala, cerebellar and olivary nuclei show a marked accumulation of lipofuscin. Biochemical examination reveals a threefold increase in galactolipids due to the specific α-galactosidase deficiency. Cholesterol is reduced secondarily to ischaemic myelin damage. Glycosaminoglycans uronic acid is increased in cytosol and membrane-bound fractions which could be related to reactive gliosis. Glycoprotein sugars show a decrease in N-acetyl-neuraminic acid and fucose as well as an increase in hexosamines and hexoses in membrane-bound fraction, while in cytosol fraction all sugars are increased. This suggests that the α-galactosidase deficiency can alter not only the glycolipid but also the glycoprotein metabolism, resulting in a higher presence of hexosamines and hexoses-rich glycoproteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1982


  • Anderson-Fabry's disease
  • Neurochemistry
  • Neuropathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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