Four-repeat tauopathies and late-onset psychiatric disorders: Etiological relevance or incidental findings?

Osamu Yokota, Tomoko Miki, Hideki Ishizu, Takashi Haraguchi, Yuki Kishimoto, Shintaro Takenoshita, Norikazu Hara, Akinori Miyashita, Takeshi Ikeuchi, Seishi Terada, Norihito Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Argyrophilic grain disease (AGD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal degeneration are four-repeat (4R) tauopathies that develop in the presenium or later. Whether these diseases are associated with the occurrence of late-onset psychiatric disorders remains unclear. To facilitate the accumulation of clinicopathological findings regarding this issue, we here present a selected series of 11 cases that clinically developed psychotic disorder (n = 7; age at onset: 41–75 years), depressive disorder (n = 1; 49 years), bipolar disorder (n = 2; 32 and 37 years) and somatoform disorder (n = 1; 88 years), and had at least one pathological hallmark of these tauopathies. The mean age at death was 74.3 years. No case showed dementia, at least in the early stage of the course. Nine cases had AGD. Granular fuzzy astrocytes in the amygdala were noted in all AGD cases and one non-AGD case. Two AGD cases had tufted astrocytes (TAs) in the amygdala but not in the frontal cortex and striatum. Three AGD and two non-AGD cases had TAs in the frontal cortex and/or striatum but not in the amygdala. One AGD case had a small number of astrocytic plaques in the frontal cortex, striatum and globus pallidus. Only one case was diagnosed as atypical PSP according to the NINDS-PSP neuropathological criteria. No case had high-level Alzheimer's disease pathology, Lewy body disease or limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy. Two cases had mild neuronal loss in the hippocampus and substantia nigra, respectively. Clinicopathological studies focusing especially on early changes of 4R tauopathies, as well as the development of surrogate markers of these diseases, may be necessary for better understanding of the pathogenic backgrounds of late-onset psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • argyrophilic grain disease
  • bipolar disorder
  • corticobasal degeneration
  • progressive supranuclear palsy
  • psychotic disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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