Introduction Loss of synapses best correlates to cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD) in which oligomeric neurotoxic species of amyloid-β appears to contribute synaptic pathology. Although a number of clinical pathologic studies have been performed with limited sample size, there are no systematic studies encompassing large samples. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis study. Methods We identified 417 publications reporting postmortem synapse and synaptic marker loss from AD patients. Two meta-analyses were performed using a single database of subselected publications and calculating the standard mean differences. Results Meta-analysis confirmed synaptic loss in selected brain regions is an early event in AD pathogenesis. The second meta-analysis of 57 synaptic markers revealed that presynaptic makers were affected more than postsynaptic markers. Discussion The present meta-analysis study showed a consistent synaptic loss across brain regions and that molecular machinery including endosomal pathways, vesicular assembly mechanisms, glutamate receptors, and axonal transport are often affected.
De Wilde, M. C., Overk, C. R., Sijben, J. W., & Masliah, E. (2016). Meta-analysis of synaptic pathology in Alzheimer’s disease reveals selective molecular vesicular machinery vulnerability. Alzheimer’s and Dementia, 12(6), 633–644. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2015.12.005