Document Type

Journal Article


Wiley-Liss Inc.


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Medical Sciences / Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care




This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [Francois M., Leifert W., Hecker J., Faunt J., Martins R., Thomas P., & Fenech M. (2014). Altered cytological parameters in buccal cells from individuals with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. Cytometry Part A, 85(8), 698-708], which has been published in final form here. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


Previous studies have shown that mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may be reflective of the early stages of more pronounced neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). There is a need for a minimally invasive and inexpensive diagnostic to identify those who exhibit cellular pathology indicative of MCI and AD risk so that they can be prioritized for primary preventative measures. The hypothesis was that a minimally invasive approach using cytological markers in isolated buccal mucosa cells can be used to identify individuals of both MCI and AD. An automated buccal cell assay was developed using laser scanning cytometry (LSC) to measure buccal cell type ratios, nuclear DNA content and shape, and neutral lipid content of buccal cells from clinically diagnosed AD (n=13) and MCI (n=13) patients prior to treatment compared to age- and gender-matched controls (n=26). DNA content was significantly higher in all cell types in both MCI (P2N nuclei. Abnormal nuclear shape (circularity) was significantly increased in transitional cells in MCI (P



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