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1.  Diversity of pathological features other than Lewy bodies in familial Parkinson’s disease due to SNCA mutations 
The clinical features of the genetically determined forms of familial Parkinson’s disease (PD) have been described in multiple reports, but there have been few comparative neuropathologic studies. Five familial PD cases, with mutations in SNCA, were matched for age, sex, and Alzheimer type pathology with sporadic PD cases. Immunohistochemistry for phospho-tau and α-synuclein was performed in 8 brain regions. The frequency of tau pathology and the morphologic features of α-synuclein pathology in familial PD were compared with sporadic PD using semi-quantitative methods. In familial PD, there were significantly more tau positive extra-perikaryal spheroid-like and thread-like lesions than in the sporadic PD. There was no significant difference in the amount of α-synuclein positive neuronal perikaryal pathology between familial PD and sporadic PD, but α-synuclein positive oligodendroglial and neuritic lesions were significantly greater in familial PD compared to sporadic PD. In the substantia nigra, familial PD had more marked neuronal loss and fewer residential neurons with Lewy bodies than the sporadic PD, suggesting a close relationship between the severity of neuronal loss and Lewy body formation. The results show a diversity of pathological features of genetically determined familial PD, and they draw attention to the possible role of tau protein in neurodegeneration. Moreover, the presence of oligodendroglial inclusions at the light and electron microscopic levels in familial PD suggests that PD and multiple system atrophy form a continuum of α-synuclein pathology.
PMCID: PMC3852566  PMID: 24319644
Pathological features; Lewy bodies; familial Parkinson’s disease; SNCA mutations
2.  Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder and subtypes in autopsy-confirmed dementia with Lewy bodies 
To determine whether dementia with Lewy bodies with or without probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder differ clinically or pathologically.
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).
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.
Probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder is associated with distinct clinical and pathologic characteristics of dementia with Lewy bodies.
PMCID: PMC3513369  PMID: 22038951
Parkinson’s disease; REM sleep behavior disorder; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Lewy body disease; Alzheimer’s disease
3.  Incidental Lewy Body Disease: Do some cases represent a preclinical stage of Dementia with Lewy Bodies? 
Neurobiology of Aging  2009;32(5):857-863.
Lewy pathology occurs in 8–17% of neurologically-normal people >age 60, termed incidental Lewy body disease, (iLBD). It is often assumed to represent preclinical Parkinson disease (PD). However, some iLBD cases have diffuse pathology inconsistent with preclinical PD. We analyzed iLBD cases (α-synuclein immunohistochemistry) using the Braak PD staging scheme and determined if some had a neuropathological pattern suggestive of preclinical Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Of the 235 brains examined, 34 had iLBD (14.5%) and all but one could be assigned a Braak PD stage. The distribution of α-synuclein pathology in the 33 cases fell into three patterns: (1) Diffuse cortical and subcortical α-synuclein pathology; (2) No cortical a-synuclein pathology, but a caudal-to-rostral ascending pattern, primarily involving brainstem; (3) Intermediate between these two categories. Also, 6/33 cases failed to follow the pattern of contiguous spread proposed by Braak. These findings suggest dichotomy in the distribution of iLBD: some cases fit the Braak ascending scheme, conceptually consistent with preclinical PD, whereas others displayed prominent cortical involvement that might represent preclinical DLB.
PMCID: PMC3366193  PMID: 19560232
incidental Lewy body disease; parkinson disease; dementia with Lewy bodies
4.  Glial cytoplasmic inclusions in neurologically normal elderly: Prodromal multiple system atrophy? 
Acta neuropathologica  2008;116(3):269-275.
In this study we used immunohistochemistry to screen for α-synuclein pathology in the brains of 241 individuals without clinical evidence of neurologic disease, and discovered 36 cases (15%) with incidental Lewy bodies (LBs) and one case, a 96-year-old woman (0.4%), with inclusions similar to those seen in multiple system atrophy (MSA), a nonfamilial neurodegenerative disorder characterized by parkinsonism, cerebellar ataxia and autonomic dysfunction and α-synuclein immunoreactive glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCI). In a routine hospital autopsy series of 125 brains, we detected GCI in a neurologically normal 82-year-old man (0.8%). Both cases showed widespread GCI in the central nervous system, as well as a few neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions, but no neuronal loss or gliosis in vulnerable brain regions, including the substantia nigra, putamen, inferior olive and pontine base. Applying a recently proposed grading scale for MSA, the two cases showed pathology far below that detected in patients with clinically overt MSA, suggesting the possibility that these two individuals had preclinical MSA. The prevalence of clinically overt MSA is estimated to be about 4 per 100,000 persons (0.004%), which is far less than the frequency of GCI in this series (0.4%–0.8%). Further studies are needed to determine is GCI in neurologically normal elderly represents prodromal MSA or a rare non-progressive age-related α-synucleinopathy.
PMCID: PMC2880173  PMID: 18553090
α-synuclein; clinicopathologic; glial cytoplasmic inclusion; multiple system atrophy; preclinical
5.  Is Incidental Lewy Body Disease Related to Parkinson Disease? Comparison of Risk Factor Profiles 
Archives of neurology  2009;66(9):1114.
To explore whether associations of potential risk factors for incidental Lewy Body Disease (iLBD) may be similar to Parkinson Disease (PD).
Design, Setting, and Patients
We identified brain-autopsied residents of Olmsted County, MN and immediate vicinity(1988–2004), age>60, without evidence of neurodegenerative disease or tremor, and evaluated by at least one physician within one year of death. Analysis for “incidental” Lewy pathology was done blinded to clinical abstraction.
Main Outcome Measures
Whether risk factors previously associated with PD in Olmsted County, MN are also associated with iLBD.
Of 235 subjects, 34 had iLBD(14.5%). The overall risk factor profiles for iLBD and PD were fairly similar between the two sets of OR estimates, with 11/16 ORs in the same direction. Prior Olmsted County studies documented 7 risk factors with statistically significant associations with PD; for two of these, the ORs for iLBD were in the same direction and statistically significant (physician, caffeine), whereas for three, they were in the same direction but not significant (education, head injury, number-of-children); they were in the opposite direction but not statistically significant for 2 (depression, anxiety). ILBD was not associated with various end-of-life conditions or causes-of-death, although they were slightly older and more likely cachectic.
Based on this exploratory study, iLBD and PD appear to have similar risk factor profiles. Thus, at least some cases of ILBD might represent preclinical PD, arrested PD or a partial syndrome due to a lesser burden of causative factors. ILBD is not explained by non-specific end-of-life brain insults.
PMCID: PMC2813519  PMID: 19752300
6.  Validation of the Neuropathologic Criteria of the Third Consortium for Dementia with Lewy Bodies for Prospectively Diagnosed Cases 
There is limited information on the validity of the pathological criteria of the Third Consortium on Dementia with Lewy bodies (CDLB) and none based upon prospectively diagnosed cases. In this study the core clinical features of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and the suggestive clinical feature of rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder were assessed using a battery of standardized clinical instruments in 76 patients with the clinical diagnosis of either DLB or Alzheimer disease. At autopsy, 29 patients had high-likelihood, 17 had intermediate-likelihood and 6 had low-likelihood DLB pathology. The frequency of core clinical features and the accuracy of the clinical diagnosis of probable DLB were significantly greater in high-likelihood than in low-likelihood cases. This is consistent with the concept that the DLB clinical syndrome is directly related to Lewy body pathology and inversely related to Alzheimer pathology. Thus, the Third CDLB neuropathological criteria scheme performed reasonably well and is useful for estimating the likelihood of the premortem DLB syndrome based upon postmortem findings. In view of differences in the frequency of clinically probable DLB in cases with Braak NFT stages V (90%) and VI (20%) and diffuse cortical Lewy bodies, a possible modification of the scheme considering cases with NFT stage VI to be low-likelihood DLB is suggested.
PMCID: PMC2745052  PMID: 18596548
Alzheimer disease; α-synuclein; Clinicopathologic correlation; Diagnostic criteria; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Prospective study; REM behavior disorder
7.  Co-localization of tau and α-synuclein in the olfactory bulb in Alzheimer’s disease with amygdala Lewy bodies 
Acta neuropathologica  2008;116(1):17-24.
We recently reported that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) with amygdala Lewy bodies (ALB) is a distinct form of α-synucleinopathy that occurs in advanced AD. In AD/ALB the α-synuclein pathology correlated with tau pathology, but not amyloid plaques, and there was often co-localization of tau and α-synuclein in the same neuron. Given the anatomical connectivity of the anterior olfactory nucleus and the amygdala, which receives axonal projections from the olfactory bulb, we hypothesized that there might be a relationship between tau and α-synuclein pathology in the olfactory bulb and the amygdala in AD. We screened for α-synuclein pathology in the olfactory bulb in AD with and without ALB, and investigated its relationship with tau pathology. In 38 of 41 (93%) AD/ALB cases and 4 of 21 (19%) AD cases without ALB (AD/non-ALB), α-synuclein pathology was detected in the olfactory bulb. Double immunolabeling at the light and electron microscopic levels revealed co-localization of tau and α-synuclein in olfactory bulb neurons and neurites. The severity of tau pathology correlated with α-synuclein pathology in the olfactory bulb. In addition, α-synuclein pathology in the olfactory bulb correlated with α-synuclein pathology in amygdala. Tau pathology was greater in both the olfactory bulb and amygdala in AD/ALB than in AD/non-ALB, but there was no difference in tau pathology between the two groups in other brain regions assessed. The present study shows that in AD/ALB, the olfactory bulb is nearly equally vulnerable to tau and α-synuclein pathology as the amygdala and suggests that neurodegeneration in these two anatomical regions is linked.
PMCID: PMC2719249  PMID: 18446351
Alzheimer’s disease; amygdala; olfactory bulb; α-synuclein, tau

Results 1-7 (7)