Neuropathology is an essential and specialised branch of pathology dealing with the diagnosis of diseases of the nervous system. The diagnostic service is provided primarily to, and often closely integrated with the clinical activities of neurologists and neurosurgeons but a wide variety of other specialists – including medical and radiation oncologists, psychiatrists, paediatricians, ophthalmologists, rheumatologists, histopathologists, forensic pathologists and paediatric pathologists benefit from this expertise.
Neuropathology is a consultant led service. Along with providing autopsy (both general and forensic ), diagnostic biopsies, epilepsy services, muscle biopsy, brain banking and CJD service, the most significant advances have been in the realm of neuroncology. Neuropathology plays a pivotal role in the multidisciplinary management of brain tumour patients. Its role is no longer restricted to providing information on the tumour’s histological type and malignancy grade. It is now complemented by a growing number of molecular tests for clinically relevant tissue-based biomarkers. Below is an image taken from a case of degenerative brain disease.
The brown plaques in these photographs are degenerative amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease.
They are more eloquently described by the poet Miroslav Holub in his poem Pathology
in the white monuments of brain I read