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1.  Imaging amyloid deposition in Lewy body diseases 
Neurology  2008;71(12):903-910.
Background:
Extrapyramidal motor symptoms precede dementia in Parkinson disease (PDD) by many years, whereas dementia occurs early in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Despite this clinical distinction, the neuropsychological and neuropathologic features of these conditions overlap. In addition to widespread distribution of Lewy bodies, both diseases have variable burdens of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles characteristic of Alzheimer disease (AD).
Objectives:
To determine whether amyloid deposition, as assessed by PET imaging with the β-amyloid–binding compound Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB), can distinguish DLB from PDD, and to assess whether regional patterns of amyloid deposition correlate with specific motor or cognitive features.
Methods:
Eight DLB, 7 PDD, 11 Parkinson disease (PD), 15 AD, and 37 normal control (NC) subjects underwent PiB-PET imaging and neuropsychological assessment. Amyloid burden was quantified using the PiB distribution volume ratio.
Results:
Cortical amyloid burden was higher in the DLB group than in the PDD group, comparable to the AD group. Amyloid deposition in the PDD group was low, comparable to the PD and NC groups. Relative to global cortical retention, occipital PiB retention was lower in the AD group than in the other groups. For the DLB, PDD, and PD groups, amyloid deposition in the parietal (lateral and precuneus)/posterior cingulate region was related to visuospatial impairment. Striatal PiB retention in the DLB and PDD groups was associated with less impaired motor function.
Conclusions:
Global cortical amyloid burden is high in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) but low in Parkinson disease dementia. These data suggest that β-amyloid may contribute selectively to the cognitive impairment of DLB and may contribute to the timing of dementia relative to the motor signs of parkinsonism.
GLOSSARY
= Automated Anatomic Labeling;
= Alzheimer disease;
= Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center;
= American version of the National Adult Reading Test;
= analysis of covariance;
= Blessed Dementia Scale;
= cerebral amyloid angiopathy;
= Clinical Dementia Rating;
= Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes;
= dementia with Lewy bodies;
= distribution volume ratio;
= Cued Selective Reminding Test;
= Free Selective Reminding Test;
= Hoehn and Yahr;
= Massachusetts General Hospital;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= normal control;
= neurofibrillary tangle;
= Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire;
= not significant;
= Parkinson disease;
= Parkinson disease dementia;
= Pittsburgh Compound B;
= region of interest;
= Statistical Parametric Mapping;
= UK Parkinson’s Disease Society Brain Bank Research Center;
= United Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale;
= Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Revised.
doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000326146.60732.d6
PMCID: PMC2637553  PMID: 18794492
2.  Imaging amyloid deposition in Lewy body diseases 
Neurology  2008;71(12):903-910.
Background
Extrapyramidal motor symptoms precede dementia in Parkinson disease (PDD) by many years, whereas dementia occurs early in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Despite this clinical distinction, the neuropsychological and neuropathologic features of these conditions overlap. In addition to widespread distribution of Lewy bodies, both diseases have variable burdens of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles characteristic of Alzheimer disease (AD).
Objectives
To determine whether amyloid deposition, as assessed by PET imaging with the β-amyloid–binding compound Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB), can distinguish DLB from PDD, and to assess whether regional patterns of amyloid deposition correlate with specific motor or cognitive features.
Methods
Eight DLB, 7 PDD, 11 Parkinson disease (PD), 15 AD, and 37 normal control (NC) subjects underwent PiB-PET imaging and neuropsychological assessment. Amyloid burden was quantified using the PiB distribution volume ratio.
Results
Cortical amyloid burden was higher in the DLB group than in the PDD group, comparable to the AD group. Amyloid deposition in the PDD group was low, comparable to the PD and NC groups. Relative to global cortical retention, occipital PiB retention was lower in the AD group than in the other groups. For the DLB, PDD, and PD groups, amyloid deposition in the parietal (lateral and precuneus)/posterior cingulate region was related to visuospatial impairment. Striatal PiB retention in the DLB and PDD groups was associated with less impaired motor function.
Conclusions
Global cortical amyloid burden is high in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) but low in Parkinson disease dementia. These data suggest that β-amyloid may contribute selectively to the cognitive impairment of DLB and may contribute to the timing of dementia relative to the motor signs of parkinsonism.
doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000326146.60732.d6
PMCID: PMC2637553  PMID: 18794492
3.  Clinicians' ability to diagnose dementia with Lewy bodies is not affected by β-amyloid load 
Neurology  2015;84(5):496-499.
Objective:
To investigate whether an increasing load of β-amyloid and/or neuritic plaques influences the phenotype, and thus the clinical diagnostic accuracy, of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).
Methods:
A series of 64 subjects with autopsy-proven DLB was studied. Last diagnosis before death was used to determine the clinical diagnostic accuracy of DLB in relation to Lewy body distribution and extent of Alzheimer β-amyloid and/or neuritic pathology. DLB pathologic diagnosis was made according to consensus criteria, using α-synuclein immunostaining for Lewy body identification. β-Amyloid immunostaining was used for quantifying β-amyloid deposits. The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease criteria and Braak stage were applied for semiquantitative grading of neuritic plaque and neurofibrillary tangle pathology.
Results:
Overall clinical diagnostic accuracy for the entire DLB cohort was high (80%), reflecting the high prevalence of core clinical features (fluctuations [81%], parkinsonism [77%], visual hallucinations [70%]). Lower frequencies of core clinical features of DLB, resulting in lower accuracy of its clinical diagnosis, were associated with decreasing Lewy body distribution (p < 0.0001) and with increasing neuritic plaque pathology (p = 0.035), but not with the number of β-amyloid plaque deposits.
Conclusions:
The likelihood of occurrence of the DLB clinical syndrome is positively related to the extent of Lewy body pathology and negatively related to the severity of Alzheimer neuritic pathology, while β-amyloid load has no effect.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000001204
PMCID: PMC4336072  PMID: 25552579
4.  Reduced striatal tyrosine hydroxylase in incidental Lewy body disease 
Acta neuropathologica  2007;115(4):445-451.
Incidental Lewy body disease (ILBD) is the term used when Lewy bodies are found in the nervous system of subjects without clinically documented parkinsonism or dementia. The prevalence of ILBD in the elderly population has been estimated at between 3.8 and 30%, depending on subject age and anatomical site of sampling. It has been speculated that ILBD represents the preclinical stage of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and/or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Studies of ILBD could potentially identify early diagnostic signs of these disorders. At present, however, it is impossible to know whether ILBD is a precursor to PD or DLB or is just a benign finding of normal aging. We hypothesized that, if ILBD represents an early stage of PD or DLB, it should be associated with depletion of striatal dopaminergic markers. Eleven subjects with ILBD and 27 control subjects were studied. The ILBD subjects ranged in age from 74 to 96 years (mean 86.5) while the control subjects’ age ranged from 75 to 102 years (mean 86.7). Controls and subjects did not differ in terms of age, postmortem interval, gender distribution, medical history conditions, brain weight, neuritic plaque density or Braak neurofibrillary stage. Quantitative ELISA measurement of striatal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the principal enzyme for dopamine synthesis, showed a 49.8% (P = 0.01) reduction in ILBD cases, as compared with control cases. The finding suggests that ILBD is not a benign condition but is likely a precursor to PD and/or DLB.
doi:10.1007/s00401-007-0313-7
PMCID: PMC2724592  PMID: 17985144
Striatum; Dopamine; Parkinson’s disease; Lewy bodies; Pathogenesis; Aging
5.  Analysis of the Substantia Innominata Volume in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease with Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, and Alzheimer’s Disease 
Journal of Movement Disorders  2011;4(2):68-72.
Background and Purpose
The substantia innominata (SI) contains the nucleus basalis of Meynert, which is the major source of cholinergic input to the cerebral cortex. We hypothesized that degeneration of the SI and its relationship to general cognitive performance differs in amyloidopathy and synucleinopathy.
Methods
We used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based volumetric analysis to evaluate the SI volume in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease-mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI), PD with dementia (PDD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and healthy elderly controls. The correlation between SI volume and general cognitive performance, measured using the Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE), was examined.
Results
Compared to control subjects, the mean normalized SI volume was significantly decreased in all of the other groups. The normalized SI volume did not differ between the subjects with PDD and DLB, whereas it was significantly smaller in subjects with PDD (p = 0.029) and DLB (p = 0.011) compared with AD. In subjects with PD-related cognitive impairment (PD-MCI, PDD, or DLB), there was a significant positive correlation between the SI volume and K-MMSE score (r = 0.366, p < 0.001), whereas no correlation was seen in subjects with AD-related cognitive impairment (aMCI or AD).
Conclusions
Our data suggest that the SI loss is greater in synucleinopathy-related dementia (PDD or DLB) than in AD and that the contribution of the SI to cognitive performance is greater in synucleinopathy than in amyloidopathy.
doi:10.14802/jmd.11014
PMCID: PMC4027689  PMID: 24868398
The substantia innominata; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease-related cognitive dysfunction
6.  In vivo amyloid imaging in autopsy-confirmed Parkinson disease with dementia 
Neurology  2010;74(1):77-84.
Objective:
To investigate the specificity of in vivo amyloid imaging with [11C]–Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB) in Parkinson disease dementia (PDD).
Methods:
We performed detailed neuropathologic examination for 3 individuals with PDD who had PIB PET imaging within 15 months of death.
Results:
We observed elevated cortical uptake of [11C]-PIB on in vivo PET imaging in 2 of the 3 cases. At autopsy, all 3 individuals had abundant cortical Lewy bodies (Braak PD stage 6), and were classified as low-probability Alzheimer disease (AD) based on NIA-Reagan criteria. The 2 PIB-positive individuals had abundant diffuse Aβ plaques but only sparse neuritic plaques and intermediate neurofibrillary tangle pathology. The PIB-negative individual had rare diffuse plaques, no neuritic plaques, and low neurofibrillary tangle burden.
Conclusions:
[11C]–Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB) PET is specific for fibrillar Aβ molecular pathology but not for pathologic diagnosis of comorbid Alzheimer disease in individuals with Parkinson disease dementia. The ability to specifically identify fibrillar Aβ amyloid in the setting of α-synucleinopathy makes [11C]-PIB PET a valuable tool for prospectively evaluating how the presence of Aβ amyloid influences the clinical course of dementia in patients with Lewy body disorders.
GLOSSARY
= Alzheimer disease;
= binding potentials;
= Clinical Dementia Rating;
= dementia of the Alzheimer type;
= dementia with Lewy bodies;
= distribution volume;
= Mental State Examination;
= Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire;
= Parkinson disease dementia;
= Pittsburgh Compound B;
= Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181c7da8e
PMCID: PMC2809026  PMID: 20038776
7.  Clinical Features of Alzheimer Disease With and Without Lewy Bodies 
JAMA neurology  2015;72(7):789-796.
IMPORTANCE
Lewy bodies are a frequent coexisting pathology in late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD). Previous studies have examined the contribution of Lewy bodies to the clinical phenotype of late-onset AD with variable findings.
OBJECTIVE
To determine whether the presence of Lewy body pathology influences the clinical phenotype and progression of symptoms in longitudinally assessed participants with AD.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Retrospective clinical and pathological cohort study of 531 deceased participants who met the neuropathologic criteria for intermediate or high likelihood of AD according to the National Institute on Aging–Ronald Reagan Institute guidelines for the neuropathologic diagnosis of AD. All participants had a clinical assessment within 2 years of death. The data were obtained from 34 AD centers maintained by the National Alzheimer Coordinating Center and spanned from September 12, 2005, to April 30, 2013.
EXPOSURES
Standardized neuropathologic assessment and then brain autopsy after death.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES
Clinical and neuropsychiatric test scores.
RESULTS
The mean (SD) age at death was statistically significantly younger for participants who had AD with Lewy bodies (77.9 [9.5] years) than for participants who had AD without Lewy bodies (80.2 [11.1] years) (P = .01). The mean (SD) age at onset of dementia symptoms was also younger for participants who had AD with Lewy bodies (70.0 [9.9] years) than for participants who had AD without Lewy bodies (72.2 [12.3] years) (P = .03). More men than women had AD with Lewy bodies (P = .01). The frequency of having at least 1 APOE ε4 allele was higher for participants who had AD with Lewy bodies than for participants who had AD without Lewy bodies (P = .03). After adjusting for age, sex, education, frequency of plaques (neuritic and diffuse), and tangle stage, we found that participants who had AD with Lewy bodies had a statistically significantly higher mean (SD) Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire score (6.59 [1.44] [95% CI, 3.75–9.42] vs 5.49 [1.39] [95% CI, 2.76–8.23]; P = .04) and a statistically significantly higher mean (SD) Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale motor score (0.81 [0.18] [95% CI, 0.45–1.17] vs 0.54 [0.18] [95% CI, 0.19–0.88]; P < .001) than did participants who had AD without Lewy bodies.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
Participants with both AD and Lewy body pathology have a clinical phenotype that may be distinguished from AD alone. The frequency of Lewy bodies in AD and the association of Lewy bodies with the APOE ε4 allele suggest potential common mechanisms for AD and Lewy body pathologies.
doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.0606
PMCID: PMC4501861  PMID: 25985321
8.  Relative preservation of MMSE scores in autopsy-proven dementia with Lewy bodies 
Neurology  2009;73(14):1127-1133.
Background:
Recent studies raised questions about the severity of cognitive impairment associated with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). However, there have been few analyses of large, multicenter data registries for clinical–pathologic correlation.
Methods:
We evaluated data from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center registry (n = 5,813 cases meeting initial inclusion criteria) and the University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center autopsy series (n = 527) to compare quantitatively the severity of cognitive impairment associated with DLB pathology vs Alzheimer disease (AD) and AD+DLB pathologies.
Results:
Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores showed that persons with pure DLB had cognitive impairment of relatively moderate severity (final MMSE score 15.6 ± 8.7) compared to patients with pure AD and AD+DLB (final MMSE score 10.7 ± 8.6 and 10.6 ± 8.6). Persons with pure DLB pathology from both data sets had more years of formal education and were more likely to be male. Differences in final MMSE scores were significant (p < 0.01) between pure DLB and both AD+DLB and pure AD even after correction for education level, gender, and MMSE–death interval. Even in cases with extensive neocortical LBs, the degree of cognitive impairment was most strongly related to the amount of concomitant AD-type neurofibrillary pathology.
Conclusions:
Dementia with Lewy bodies can constitute a debilitating disease with associated psychiatric, motoric, and autonomic dysfunction. However, neocortical Lewy bodies are not a substrate for severe global cognitive impairment as assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination. Instead, neocortical Lewy bodies appear to constitute or reflect an additive disease process, requiring Alzheimer disease or other concomitant brain diseases to induce severe global cognitive deterioration.
GLOSSARY
= Alzheimer disease;
= AD Center;
= Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease;
= dementia with Lewy bodies;
= Lewy bodies;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center;
= neurofibrillary;
= National Institute of Aging-Reagan Institute;
= University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181bacf9e
PMCID: PMC2764396  PMID: 19805729
9.  Dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer disease 
Neurology  2010;74(22):1814-1821.
Objective:
To identify the patterns of diffusivity changes in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer disease (AD) and to determine whether diffusion tensor MRI (DTI) is complementary to structural MRI in depicting the tissue abnormalities characteristic of DLB and AD.
Methods:
We studied clinically diagnosed age-, gender-, and education-matched subjects with DLB (n = 30), subjects with AD (n = 30), and cognitively normal (CN) subjects (n = 60) in a case-control study. DTI was performed at 3T with a fluid-attenuated inversion recovery–based DTI sequence that enabled cortical diffusion measurements. Mean diffusivity (MD) and gray matter (GM) density were measured from segmented cortical regions. Tract-based diffusivity was measured using color-coded fractional anisotropy (FA) maps.
Results:
Patients with DLB were characterized by elevated MD in the amygdala and decreased FA in the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). ILF diffusivity was associated with the presence of visual hallucinations (p = 0.007), and amygdala diffusivity was associated with Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (r = 0.50; p = 0.005) in DLB. In contrast, patients with AD were characterized by elevated MD in the medial temporal, temporal, and parietal lobe association cortices and decreased FA in the fornix, cingulum, and ILF. Amygdala diffusivity was complementary to GM density in discriminating DLB from CN; hippocampal and parahippocampal diffusivity was complementary to GM density in discriminating AD from CN.
Conclusion:
Increased amygdalar diffusivity in the absence of tissue loss in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) may be related to microvacuolation, a common pathology associated with Lewy body disease in the amygdala. Diffusivity measurements were complementary to structural MRI, demonstrating that measures of diffusivity on diffusion tensor MRI are valuable tools for characterizing the tissue abnormalities characteristic of Alzheimer disease and DLB.
GLOSSARY
= Alzheimer disease;
= cognitively normal;
= dementia with Lewy bodies;
= diffusion tensor MRI;
= fractional anisotropy;
= false discovery rate;
= fluid-attenuated inversion recovery;
= gray matter;
= inferior longitudinal fasciculus;
= Lewy body;
= mean diffusivity;
= REM sleep behavior disorder;
= region of interest;
= superior longitudinal fasciculus;
= echo time;
= inversion time;
= repetition time;
= Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale;
= white matter.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181e0f7cf
PMCID: PMC2882217  PMID: 20513818
10.  Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder and subtypes in autopsy-confirmed dementia with Lewy bodies 
OBJECTIVE
To determine whether dementia with Lewy bodies with or without probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder differ clinically or pathologically.
METHODS
Patients with dementia with Lewy bodies who have probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior sleep disorder (n=71) were compared to those without it (n=19) on demographics, clinical variables (core features of dementia with Lewy bodies, dementia duration, rate of cognitive/motor changes) and pathologic indices (Lewy body distribution, neuritic plaque score, Braak neurofibrillary tangle stage).
RESULTS
Individuals with probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder were predominantly male (82% versus 47%), and had a shorter duration of dementia (mean 8 years versus 10 years), earlier onset of parkinsonism (mean 2 years versus 5 years), and earlier onset of visual hallucinations (mean 3 years versus 6 years). These patients also had a lower Braak neurofibrillary tangle stage (Stage IV versus Stage VI) and lower neuritic plaque scores (18% frequent versus 85% frequent), but no difference in Lewy body distribution. When probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder developed early (at or before dementia onset), the onset of parkinsonism and hallucinations was earlier and Braak neurofibrillary tangle stage was lower compared to those who developed the sleep disorder after dementia onset. Women with autopsy-confirmed DLB without a history of dream enactment behavior during sleep had a later onset of hallucinations and parkinsonism and a higher Braak NFT stage.
CONCLUSIONS
Probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder is associated with distinct clinical and pathologic characteristics of dementia with Lewy bodies.
doi:10.1002/mds.24003
PMCID: PMC3513369  PMID: 22038951
Parkinson’s disease; REM sleep behavior disorder; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Lewy body disease; Alzheimer’s disease
11.  Lewy- and Alzheimer-type pathologies in Parkinson’s disease dementia: which is more important? 
Brain : a journal of neurology  2011;134(0 5):1493-1505.
Summary
The relative importance of Lewy- and Alzheimer-type pathologies to dementia in Parkinson’s disease remains unclear. We have examined the combined associations of α-synuclein, tau and amyloid-β accumulation in 56 pathologically confirmed Parkinson’s disease cases, 29 of whom had developed dementia. Cortical and subcortical amyloid-β scores were obtained, while tau and α-synuclein pathologies were rated according to the respective Braak stages. Additionally, cortical Lewy body and Lewy neurite scores were determined and Lewy body densities were generated using morphometry. Non-parametric statistics, together with regression models, receiver-operating characteristic curves and survival analyses were applied. Cortical and striatal amyloid-β scores, Braak tau stages, cortical Lewy body, Lewy neurite scores and Lewy body densities, but not Braak α-synuclein stages, were all significantly greater in the Parkinson’s disease-dementia group (P < 0.05), with all the pathologies showing a significant positive correlation to each other (P < 0.05). A combination of pathologies [area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve = 0.95 (0.88–1.00); P < 0.0001] was a better predictor of dementia than the severity of any single pathology. Additionally, cortical amyloid-β scores (r = −0.62; P = 0.043) and Braak tau stages (r = −0.52; P = 0.028), but not Lewy body scores (r = −0.25; P = 0.41) or Braak α-synuclein stages (r = −0.44; P = 0.13), significantly correlated with mini-mental state examination scores in the subset of cases with this information available within the last year of life (n = 15). High cortical amyloid-β score (P = 0.017) along with an older age at onset (P = 0.001) were associated with a shorter time-to-dementia period. A combination of Lewy- and Alzheimer-type pathologies is a robust pathological correlate of dementia in Parkinson’s disease, with quantitative and semi-quantitative assessment of Lewy pathology being more informative than Braak α-synuclein stages. Cortical amyloid-β and age at disease onset seem to determine the rate to dementia.
doi:10.1093/brain/awr031
PMCID: PMC4194668  PMID: 21596773
lewy bodies; amyloid-β; tau; Parkinson’s disease; dementia
12.  APOE ε4 Increases Risk for Dementia in Pure Synucleinopathies 
JAMA neurology  2013;70(2):223-228.
Objective
To test for an association between the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele and dementias with synucleinopathy.
Design
Genetic case-control association study.
Setting
Academic research.
Patients
Autopsied subjects were classified into 5 categories: dementia with high-level Alzheimer disease (AD) neuropathologic changes (NCs) but without Lewy body disease (LBD) NCs (AD group; n=244), dementia with LBDNCs and high-level ADNCs (LBD-AD group; n=224), dementia with LBDNCs and no or low levels of ADNCs (pure DLB [pDLB] group; n=91), Parkinson disease dementia (PDD) with no or low levels of ADNCs (n=81), and control group (n=269).
Main Outcome Measure
The APOE allele frequencies.
Results
The APOE ε4 allele frequency was significantly higher in the AD (38.1%), LBD-AD (40.6%), pDLB (31.9%), and PDD (19.1%) groups compared with the control group (7.2%; overall χ42=185.25; P=5.56×10−39), and it was higher in the pDLB group than the PDD group (P=.01). In an age-adjusted and sex-adjusted dominant model, ε4 was strongly associated with AD (odds ratio, 9.9; 95% CI, 6.4–15.3), LBD-AD (odds ratio, 12.6; 95% CI, 8.1–19.8), pDLB (odds ratio, 6.1; 95% CI, 3.5–10.5), and PDD (odds ratio, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.7–5.6).
Conclusions
The APOE ε4 allele is a strong risk factor across the LBD spectrum and occurs at an increased frequency in pDLB relative to PDD. This suggests that ε4 increases the likelihood of presenting with dementia in the context of a pure synucleinopathy. The elevated ε4 frequency in the pDLB and PDD groups, in which the overall brain neuritic plaque burden was low, indicates that apoE might contribute to neurodegeneration through mechanisms unrelated to amyloid processing.
doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.600
PMCID: PMC3580799  PMID: 23407718
13.  Brain amyloid and cognition in Lewy body diseases 
Background
Many patients with Parkinson disease (PD) develop dementia (PDD), a syndrome that overlaps clinically and pathologically with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB); PDD and DLB differ chiefly in the relative timing of dementia and parkinsonism. Brain amyloid deposition is an early feature of DLB and may account in part for its early dementia. We sought to confirm this hypothesis and also to determine whether amyloid accumulation contributes to cognitive impairment and dementia in the broad range of parkinsonian diseases.
Methods
29 cognitively normal PD, 14 PD subjects with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI), 18 with DLB, 12 with PDD and 85 healthy control subjects (HCS) underwent standardized neurologic and neuropsychological examinations and PiB imaging with PET. Apolipoprotein (APOE) genotypes were obtained in many patients. PiB retention was expressed as the distribution volume ratio using a cerebellar tissue reference.
Results
PiB retention was significantly higher in DLB than in any of the other diagnostic groups. PiB retention did not differ across PDD, PD-MCI, PD, and HCS. Amyloid burden increased with age and with the presence of the APOEε4 allele in all patient groups. Only in the DLB group was amyloid deposition associated with impaired cognition.
Conclusions
DLB subjects have higher amyloid burden than subjects with PDD, PD-MCI, PD or HCS; amyloid deposits are linked to cognitive impairment only in DLB. Early amyloid deposits in DLB relative to PDD may account for their difference in the timing of dementia and parkinsonism.
doi:10.1002/mds.25048
PMCID: PMC3725259  PMID: 22693110
dementia; Lewy; Parkinson; amyloid; PiB
14.  Evaluating the relationship between amyloid-β and α-synuclein phosphorylated at Ser129 in dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease 
Introduction
Lewy body and Alzheimer-type pathologies often co-exist. Several studies suggest a synergistic relationship between amyloid-β (Aβ) and α-synuclein (α-syn) accumulation. We have explored the relationship between Aβ accumulation and the phosphorylation of α-syn at serine-129 (pSer129 α-syn), in post-mortem human brain tissue and in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells transfected to overexpress human α-syn.
Methods
We measured levels of Aβ40, Aβ42, α-syn and pSer129 α-syn by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, in soluble and insoluble fractions of midfrontal, cingulate and parahippocampal cortex and thalamus, from cases of Parkinson’s disease (PD) with (PDD; n = 12) and without dementia (PDND; n = 23), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB; n = 10) and age-matched controls (n = 17). We also examined the relationship of these measurements to cognitive decline, as measured by time-to-dementia and the mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score in the PD patients, and to Braak tangle stage.
Results
In most brain regions, the concentration of insoluble pSer129 α-syn correlated positively, and soluble pSer129 α-syn negatively, with the levels of soluble and insoluble Aβ. Insoluble pSer129 α-syn also correlated positively with Braak stage. In most regions, the levels of insoluble and soluble Aβ and the proportion of insoluble α-syn that was phosphorylated at Ser129 were significantly higher in the PD and DLB groups than the controls, and higher in the PDD and DLB groups than the PDND brains. In PD, the MMSE score correlated negatively with the level of insoluble pSer129 α-syn. Exposure of SH-SY5Y cells to aggregated Aβ42 significantly increased the proportion of α-syn that was phosphorylated at Ser129 (aggregated Aβ40 exposure had a smaller, non-significant effect).
Conclusions
Together, these data show that the concentration of pSer129 α-syn in brain tissue homogenates is directly related to the level of Aβ and Braak tangle stage, and predicts cognitive status in Lewy body diseases.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13195-014-0077-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13195-014-0077-y
PMCID: PMC4248436  PMID: 25452767
15.  Olfactory bulb α-synucleinopathy has high specificity and sensitivity for Lewy body disorders 
Acta neuropathologica  2008;117(2):169-174.
Involvement of the olfactory bulb by Lewy-type α-synucleinopathy (LTS) is known to occur at an early stage of Parkinson's disease (PD) and Lewy body disorders and is therefore of potential usefulness diagnostically. An accurate estimate of the specificity and sensitivity of this change has not previously been available. We performed immunohistochemical α-synuclein staining of the olfactory bulb in 328 deceased individuals. All cases had received an initial neuropathological examination that included α-synuclein immunohistochemical staining on sections from brainstem, limbic and neocortical regions, but excluded olfactory bulb. These cases had been classified based on their clinical characteristics and brain regional distribution and density of LTS, as PD, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Alzheimer's disease with LTS (ADLS), Alzheimer's disease without LTS (ADNLS), incidental Lewy body disease (ILBD) and elderly control subjects. The numbers of cases found to be positive and negative, respectively, for olfactory bulb LTS were: PD 55/3; DLB 34/1; ADLS 37/5; ADNLS 19/84; ILBD 14/7; elderly control subjects 5/64. The sensitivities and specificities were, respectively: 95 and 91% for PD versus elderly control; 97 and 91% for DLB versus elderly control; 88 and 91% for ADLS versus elderly control; 88 and 81% for ADLS versus ADNLS; 67 and 91% for ILBD versus elderly control. Olfactory bulb synucleinopathy density scores correlated significantly with synucleinopathy scores in all other brain regions (Spearman R values between 0.46 and 0.78) as well as with scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination and Part 3 of the unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (Spearman R −0.27, 0.35, respectively). It is concluded that olfactory bulb LTS accurately predicts the presence of LTS in other brain regions. It is suggested that olfactory bulb biopsy be considered to confirm the diagnosis in PD subjects being assessed for surgical therapy.
doi:10.1007/s00401-008-0450-7
PMCID: PMC2631085  PMID: 18982334
Parkinson's disease, surgery; Deep brain stimulation; Gene therapy; Transplantation; Dementia with Lewy bodies, diagnosis, therapy, clinical trial; α-Synuclein, Lewy bodies, incidental Lewy body disease; Biopsy; Olfactory bulb
16.  Sequence variants in eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4-gamma (eIF4G1) are associated with Lewy body dementia 
Acta neuropathologica  2012;125(3):425-438.
We recently reported a missense mutation and four variants in eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4-gamma (EIF4G1) associated with parkinsonism, dementia or both. In those with a positive family history, the mode of inheritance was autosomal dominant. Detailed neuropathologic descriptions of individuals with EIF4G1 genetic variants have not been reported. Herein, we report neuropathologic findings of three individuals from two American families with EIF4G1 variants. The patients had initial clinical presentations of dementia or parkinsonism and all had dementia at the time of autopsy. One family carried an EIF4G1 double variant, c.2056G>T (p.G686C) and c.3589C>T (p.R1197W), and one family carried variant c.1505C>T (p.A502V). All three patients also carried at least one ε4 allele of apolipoprotein E. One individual presented with cognitive impairment without significant parkinsonism; one presented with memory problems followed by bradykinesia; and the third presented with cardinal signs of Parkinson’s disease, followed more than a year later by cognitive dysfunction. Pathological examination showed diffuse cortical Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites in all patients. A small subset of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites were immunopositive for eIF4G1. All patients had moderate to frequent non-neuritic, cortical amyloid plaques, mostly medial temporal neurofibrillary pathology (Braak neurofibrillary tangle stages of II to IV), and minimal or no TDP-43 pathology. The results suggest that in some patients variants in EIF4G1 can be associated with pathology that has a high likelihood of association with clinical features of dementia with Lewy bodies.
doi:10.1007/s00401-012-1059-4
PMCID: PMC3580022  PMID: 23124435
APOE; dementia with Lewy bodies; diffuse Lewy body disease; EIF4G1; parkinsonism; α-synuclein; tau
17.  Dynamin1 concentration in the prefrontal cortex is associated with cognitive impairment in Lewy body dementia 
F1000Research  2014;3:108.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PDD) together, represent the second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The synaptic dysfunctions underlying the cognitive decline and psychiatric symptoms observed throughout the development of PDD and DLB are still under investigation. In this study we examined the expression level of Dynamin1 and phospho-CaMKII, key proteins of endocytosis and synaptic plasticity respectively, as potential markers of molecular processes specifically deregulated with DLB and/or PDD. In order to measure the levels of these proteins, we isolated grey matter from post-mortem prefrontal cortex area (BA9), anterior cingulated gyrus (BA24) and parietal cortex (BA40) from DLB and PDD patients in comparison to age-matched controls and a group of AD cases. Clinical and pathological data available included the MMSE score, neuropsychiatric history, and semi-quantitative scores for AD pathology (plaques - tangles) and for α-synuclein (Lewy bodies).
Changes in the expression of the synaptic markers, and correlates with neuropathological features and cognitive decline were predominantly found in the prefrontal cortex. On one hand, levels of Dynamin1 were significantly reduced, and correlated with a higher rate of cognitive decline observed in cases from three dementia groups. On the other hand, the fraction of phospho-CaMKII was decreased, and correlated with a high score of plaques and tangles in BA9. Interestingly, the correlation between the rate of cognitive decline and the level of Dynamin1 remained when the analysis was restricted to the PDD and DLB cases, highlighting an association of Dynamin1 with cognitive decline in people with Lewy Body dementia.
doi:10.12688/f1000research.3786.1
PMCID: PMC4309165  PMID: 25671083
Alzheimer’s disease; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Parkinson’s disease with dementia; synaptic dysfunction; vesicle recycling; synaptic plasticity; beta amyloid; tau; cognitive impairment
18.  Factors associated with resistance to dementia despite high Alzheimer disease pathology 
Neurology  2009;72(4):354-360.
Background:
Autopsy series have shown that some elderly people remain with normal cognitive function during life despite having high burdens of pathologic lesions associated with Alzheimer disease (AD) at death. Understanding why these individuals show no cognitive decline, despite high AD pathologic burdens, may be key to discovery of neuroprotective mechanisms.
Methods:
A total of 36 subjects who on autopsy had Braak stage V or VI and moderate or frequent neuritic plaque scores based on Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD) standards were included. Twelve had normal cognitive function and 24 a diagnosis of AD before death. Demographic characteristics, clinical and pathologic data, as well as antemortem brain volumes were compared between the groups.
Results:
In multiple regression analysis, antemortem hippocampal and total brain volumes were significantly larger in the group with normal cognitive function after adjusting for gender, age at MRI, time from MRI to death, Braak stage, CERAD neuritic plaque score, and overall presence of vascular disease.
Conclusion:
Larger brain and hippocampal volumes were associated with preserved cognitive function during life despite a high burden of Alzheimer disease (AD) pathologic lesions at death. A better understanding of processes that lead to preservation of brain volume may provide important clues for the discovery of mechanisms that protect the elderly from AD.
GLOSSARY
= Alzheimer disease;
= Clinical Dementia Rating Scale;
= Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease;
= Cumulative Illness Rating Scale;
= intracranial volume;
= Lewy bodies;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination;
= neurofibrillary tangle;
= National Institute on Aging;
= neuritic plaques;
= Oregon Health & Science University;
= reference;
= socioeconomic status;
= Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale.
doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000341273.18141.64
PMCID: PMC2677499  PMID: 19171833
19.  Plaques and Tangles as well as Lewy-type Alpha Synucleinopathy Are Associated with Formed Visual Hallucinations 
Parkinsonism & related disorders  2014;20(9):1009-1014.
Objective
Previous research has linked complex or formed visual hallucinations (VH) to Lewy-type alpha-synucleinopathy (LTS) in neocortical and limbic areas. As Alzheimer’s disease pathology often co-occurs with LTS, we questioned whether this pathology - amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles - might also be linked to VH.
Methods
We performed a semi-quantitative neuropathological study across brainstem, limbic, and cortical structures in subjects with a documented clinical history of VH and a clinicopathological diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). 173 subjects – including 50 with VH and 123 without VH – were selected from the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders. Clinical variables examined included the Mini-mental State Exam, Hoehn & Yahr stage, and total dopaminergic medication dose. Neuropathological variables examined included total and regional LTS and plaque and tangle densities.
Results
A significant relationship was found between the density of LTS and the presence of VH in PD, AD, and DLB. Plaque and tangle densities also were associated with VH in PD (p=.003 for plaque and p=.004 for tangles) but not in AD, where densities were high regardless of the presence of hallucinations. Furthermore, with DLB cases excluded, comorbidity of PD and AD was significantly more prevalent among subjects +VH than subjects −VH (p<.001).
Conclusion
These findings suggest that both AD and PD neuropathology contribute to the pathogenesis of VH. Incident VH could be predictive of concomitant AD/PD pathology even when criteria are not met for a second diagnosis.
doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2014.06.018
PMCID: PMC4143433  PMID: 25027359
visual hallucinations; hallucinations; psychosis; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease
20.  Motor and cognitive function in Lewy body dementia: comparison with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. 
OBJECTIVE: Motor and cognitive function were compared in patients with Lewy body dementia, Parkinson's disease, or Alzheimer's disease, to identify features that may be clinically useful in differentiating Lewy body dementia from Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. METHODS: A range of neuropsychological function and extrapyrimidal signs (EPS) was assessed in 16 patients with Lewy body dementia, 15 with Parkinson's disease, 25 with Alzheimer's disease, and 22 control subjects. RESULTS: The severity of total motor disability scores increased in the following order: controls approximately = Alzheimer's disease << Parkinson's disease < Lewy body dementia. Compared with patients with Parkinson's disease, patients with Lewy body dementia had greater scores for rigidity and deficits in the finger tapping test, but rest tremor and left/right asymmetry in EPS were more evident in Parkinson's disease. Patients with Lewy body dementia were also less likely to present with left/right asymmetry in EPS at the onset of their parkinsonism. "Sensitivity" to neuroleptic drugs was noted in 33% of patients with Lewy body dementia. Alzheimer's disease and Lewy body dementia groups had greater severity of dementia compared with the Parkinson's disease group and controls. Neuropsychological evaluation disclosed severe but similar degrees of impaired performances in tests of attention (digit span), frontal lobe function (verbal fluency, category, and Nelson card sort test) and motor sequencing in both Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's disease groups, than Parkinson's disease and controls. In the clock face test, improved performance was noted in the "copy" compared to "draw" part of the test in controls, patients with Alzheimer's disease, and those with Parkinson's disease, but not in the patients with Lewy body dementia, who achieved equally poor scores in both parts of the test. CONCLUSIONS: EPS in Lewy body dementia resemble those seen in idiopathic Parkinson's disease, although less rest tremor and left/right asymmetry but more severe rigidity favours a diagnosis of Lewy body dementia. The unique profile of patients with Lewy body dementia seen in the clock face test suggests that this simple and easy to administer test may be useful in the clinical setting to differentiate Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Images
PMCID: PMC1064153  PMID: 9069479
21.  Presence of Striatal Amyloid Plaques in Parkinson’s Disease Dementia Predicts Concomitant Alzheimer’s Disease: Usefulness for Amyloid Imaging 
Dementia is a frequent complication of Parkinson’s disease (PD). About half of PD dementia (PDD) is hypothesized to be due to progression of the underlying Lewy body pathology into limbic regions and the cerebral cortex while the other half is thought to be due to coexistent Alzheimer’s disease. Clinically, however, these are indistinguishable. The spread of amyloid plaques to the striatum has been reported to be a sensitive and specific indicator of dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The purpose of the present study was to determine if the presence of striatal plaques might also be a useful indicator of the presence of diagnostic levels of AD pathology within PD subjects. We analyzed neuropathologically-confirmed cases of PD without dementia (PDND, N = 31), PDD without AD (PDD, N = 31) and PD with dementia meeting clinicopathological criteria for AD (PDAD, N =40). The minimum diagnostic criterion for AD was defined as including a clinical history of dementia, moderate or frequent CERAD cortical neuritic plaque density and Braak neurofibrillary stage III–VI. Striatal amyloid plaque densities were determined using Campbell-Switzer and Thioflavine S stains. Striatal plaque densities were significantly higher in PDAD compared to PDD (p<0.001). The presence of striatal plaques was approximately 80% sensitive and 80% specific for predicting AD. In comparison, the presence of cerebral cortex plaques alone was highly sensitive (100%) but had poor specificity (48% to 55%). The results suggest that striatal amyloid imaging may be clinically useful for making the distinction between PDD and PDAD.
doi:10.3233/JPD-2012-11073
PMCID: PMC3423968  PMID: 22924088
striatum; Lewy body; diagnosis; autopsy; neuropathology; biomarker
22.  The brainstem pathologies of Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies 
Parkinson’s disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are among the human synucleinopathies, which share the neuropathological features of alpha-synuclein immunoreactive neuronal and/or glial aggregations, as well as progressive neuronal loss in select brain regions (e.g. dopaminergic substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area, cholinergic pedunculopontine nucleus). Despite a number of studies about brainstem pathologies in PD and DLB, there is currently no detailed information available regarding the presence of alpha-synuclein immunoreactive inclusions (a) in the cranial nerve, precerebellar, vestibular and oculomotor brainstem nuclei and (b) in brainstem fiber tracts and oligodendroctyes. Therefore, we performed a detailed analysis of the alpha-synuclein immunoreactive inclusion pathologies in the brainstem nuclei (Lewy bodies, LB; Lewy neurites, LN; coiled bodies, CB) and fiber tracts (LN, CB) of clinically diagnosed and neuropathologically confirmed PD and DLB patients. As also reported in previous studies, LB and LN were most prevalent in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, pedunculopontine and raphe nuclei, periaqueductal gray, locus coeruleus, parabrachial nuclei, reticular formation, prepositus hypoglossal, dorsal motor vagal, and solitary nuclei. However, we for the first time demonstrated LB and LN in all cranial nerve nuclei, premotor oculomotor, precerebellar and vestibular brainstem nuclei, as well as LN in all brainstem fiber tracts. CB were present in nearly all brainstem nuclei and brainstem fiber tracts containing LB and/or LN. These novel brainstem findings can account for or contribute to a large variety of less well-explained PD and DLB symptoms (e.g. gait and postural instability, impaired balance and postural reflexes, falls, ingestive and oculomotor dysfunctions), and point to the occurrence of disturbances of intra-axonal transport processes and a transneuronal spread of the underlying pathological processes of PD and DLB along anatomical pathways in a prion-like manner.
doi:10.1111/bpa.12168
PMCID: PMC4397912  PMID: 24995389
23.  The clinical characteristics of dementia with Lewy bodies and a consideration of prodromal diagnosis 
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the second most common type of degenerative dementia following Alzheimer’s disease (AD). DLB is clinically and pathologically related to Parkinson's disease (PD) and PD dementia, and the three disorders can be viewed as existing on a spectrum of Lewy body disease. In recent years there has been a concerted effort to establish the phenotypes of AD and PD in the prodromal phase (before the respective syndromes of cognitive and motor impairment are expressed). Evidence for the prodromal presentation of DLB is also emerging. This paper briefly reviews what is known about the clinical presentation of prodromal DLB before discussing the pathology of Lewy body disease and how this relates to potential biomarkers of prodromal DLB. The presenting features of DLB can be broadly placed in three categories: cognitive impairment (particularly nonamnestic cognitive impairments), behavioural/psychiatric phenomena (for example, hallucinations, rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD)) and physical symptoms (for example, parkinsonism, decreased sense of smell, autonomic dysfunction). Some noncognitive symptoms such as constipation, RBD, hyposmia and postural dizziness can predate the onset of memory impairment by several years in DLB. Pathological studies of Lewy body disease have found that the earliest sites of involvement are the olfactory bulb, the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagal nerve, the peripheral autonomic nervous system, including the enteric nervous system, and the brainstem. Some of the most promising early markers for DLB include the presence of RBD, autonomic dysfunction or hyposmia, 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine cardiac scintigraphy, measures of substantia nigra pathology and skin biopsy for α-synuclein in peripheral autonomic nerves. In the absence of disease-modifying therapies, the diagnosis of prodromal DLB is of limited use in the clinic. That said, knowledge of the prodromal development of DLB could help clinicians identify cases of DLB where the diagnosis is uncertain. Prodromal diagnosis is of great importance in research, where identifying Lewy body disease at an earlier stage may allow researchers to investigate the initial phases of dementia pathophysiology, develop treatments designed to interrupt the development of the dementia syndrome and accurately identify the patients most likely to benefit from these treatments.
doi:10.1186/alzrt274
PMCID: PMC4255387  PMID: 25484925
24.  Performance on the dementia rating scale in Parkinson's disease with dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies: comparison with progressive supranuclear palsy and Alzheimer's disease 
Background: The relation between dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD) is unknown.
Objectives: To compare the cognitive profiles of patients with DLB and PDD, and compare those with the performance of patients with a subcortical dementia (progressive supranuclear palsy) and a cortical dementia (Alzheimer's disease).
Design: Survey of cognitive features.
Setting: General community in Rogaland county, Norway, and a university dementia and movement disorder research centre in the USA.
Patients: 60 patients with DLB, 35 with PDD, 49 with progressive supranuclear palsy, and 29 with Alzheimer's disease, diagnosed by either standardised clinical procedures and criteria (all PDD and Alzheimer cases and 76% of cases of progressive supranuclear palsy), or necropsy (all DLB cases and 24% of cases of progressive supranuclear palsy). Level of dementia severity was matched using the total score on the dementia rating scale adjusted for age and education.
Main outcome measures: Dementia rating scale subscores corrected for age.
Results: No significant differences between the dementia rating scale subscores in the PDD and DLB groups were found in the severely demented patients; in patients with mild to moderate dementia the conceptualisation subscore was higher in PDD than in DLB (p = 0.03). Compared with Alzheimer's disease, PDD and DLB had higher memory subscores (p < 0.001) but lower initiation and perseveration (p = 0.008 and p=0.021) and construction subscores (p = 0.009 and p = 0.001). DLB patients had a lower conceptualisation subscore (p = 0.004). Compared with progressive supranuclear palsy, PDD and DLB patients had lower memory subscores (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: The cognitive profiles of patients with DLB and PDD were similar, but they differed from those of patients with Alzheimer's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy. The cognitive pattern in DLB and PDD probably reflects the superimposition of subcortical deficits upon deficits typically associated with Alzheimer's disease.
doi:10.1136/jnnp.74.9.1215
PMCID: PMC1738667  PMID: 12933921
25.  Mild cognitive impairment associated with limbic and neocortical lewy body disease: a clinicopathological study 
Brain  2009;133(2):540-556.
There are little data on the relationship between Lewy body disease and mild cognitive impairment syndromes. The Mayo Clinic aging and dementia databases in Rochester, Minnesota, and Jacksonville, Florida were queried for cases who were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment between 1 January 1996 and 30 April 2008, were prospectively followed and were subsequently found to have autopsy-proven Lewy body disease. The presence of rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder was specifically assessed. Mild cognitive impairment subtypes were determined by clinical impression and neuropsychological profiles, based on prospective operational criteria. The diagnosis of clinically probable dementia with Lewy bodies was based on the 2005 McKeith criteria. Hippocampal volumes, rate of hippocampal atrophy, and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy were assessed on available magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy scans. Eight subjects were identified; six were male. Seven developed dementia with Lewy bodies prior to death; one died characterized as mild cognitive impairment. The number of cases and median age of onset (range) for specific features were: seven with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder—60 years (27–91 years), eight with cognitive symptoms—69 years (62–89 years), eight with mild cognitive impairment—70.5 years (66–91 years), eight with parkinsonism symptoms—71 years (66–92 years), six with visual hallucinations—72 years (64–90 years), seven with dementia—75 years (67–92 years), six with fluctuations in cognition and/or arousal—76 years (68–92 years) and eight dead—76 years (71–94 years). Rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder preceded cognitive symptom onset in six cases by a median of 10 years (2–47 years) and mild cognitive impairment diagnosis by a median of 12 years (3–48 years). The mild cognitive impairment subtypes represented include: two with single domain non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment, three with multi-domain non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment, and three with multi-domain amnestic mild cognitive impairment. The cognitive domains most frequently affected were attention and executive functioning, and visuospatial functioning. Hippocampal volumes and the rate of hippocampal atrophy were, on average, within the normal range in the three cases who underwent magnetic resonance imaging, and the choline/creatine ratio was elevated in the two cases who underwent proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy when they were diagnosed as mild cognitive impairment. On autopsy, six had neocortical-predominant Lewy body disease and two had limbic-predominant Lewy body disease; only one had coexisting high-likelihood Alzheimer's disease. These findings indicate that among Lewy body disease cases that pass through a mild cognitive impairment stage, any cognitive pattern or mild cognitive subtype is possible, with the attention/executive and visuospatial domains most frequently impaired. Hippocampal volume and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy data were consistent with recent data in dementia with Lewy bodies. All cases with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder and mild cognitive impairment were eventually shown to have autopsy-proven Lewy body disease, indicating that rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder plus mild cognitive impairment probably reflects brainstem and cerebral Lewy body disease.
doi:10.1093/brain/awp280
PMCID: PMC2822633  PMID: 19889717
mild cognitive impairment; dementia; dementia with Lewy bodies; Lewy body disease; neuropathology

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