An 88-year-old woman with Alzheimer disease dies of congestive heart failure. Examination of the brain at autopsy shows bilateral atrophy of the gyri, particularly in the frontal and hippocampal cortex. What additional finding might be expected in the brain of this patient?
Hydrocephalus ex vacuo
Answer : B Hydrocephalus ex vacuo
The brain of patients with Alzheimer disease loses approximately 200 g in
an interval of 3 to 8 years.
The gyri narrow, the sulci widen, and cortical atrophy becomes apparent. In turn, these changes lead to widening of the lateral ventricles (hydrocephalus ex vacuo).
Hydrocephalus ex vacuo refers to enlargement of the ventricular system as a compensatory response to severe brain atrophy and is unrelated to obstructive lesions.
The atrophy is bilateral and symmetric, and targets the frontal and hippocampal cortex.