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Neurofibrillary tangle: Wikis


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Microscopy image of a neurofibrillary tangle, conformed by hyperphosphorylated tau protein

Neurofibrillary tangles are pathological protein aggregates found within neurons in cases of Alzheimer's disease. They were first described by Alois Alzheimer in one of his patients suffering from the disorder (at the time it was not called Alzheimer's disease). Tangles are formed by hyperphosphorylation of a microtubule-associated protein known as tau, causing it to aggregate in an insoluble form. (These aggregations of hyperphosphorylated tau protein are also referred to as PHF, or "paired helical filaments"). The precise mechanism of tangle formation is not completely understood, and it is still controversial whether tangles are a primary causative factor in the disease or play a more peripheral role.

Other conditions in which neurofibrillary tangles are commonly observed include:


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