Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Robert Perry
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The brains of 138 subjects aged 51-100y taken from routine autopsies or community sudden deaths and screened to exclude patients with known parkinsonism, cognitive impairment or psychiatric disorders, were examined for Lewy bodies. These were identified in brain stem nuclei in three cases (2.2%), and two of these showed Lewy bodies in other brain areas including neo- and archicortex. Both Lewy body density and neuron loss were more extensive in locus coeruleus compared with substantia nigra in the three cases. The lower prevalence (2.2%) of Lewy body formation in the elderly compared with previous reports (up to 10.3%) is attributable to exclusion of cases with Lewy body related psychiatric or neuropsychiatric disorders from the "normal" elderly population. Including such neuropsychiatric cases in the present series increased the prevalence from 2.2 to 8.6%. These findings (i) indicate that the spectrum of Lewy body diseases includes psychiatric and psychoneurologic disorders; (ii) suggest that the preclinical phase of Parkinson's disease is shorter than previous estimates; and (iii) provide basic neuropathological data for classifying Lewy body dementing syndromes in the elderly.
Author(s): Smith PEM, Irving D, Perry RH
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Neuroscience Research Communications
Print publication date: 01/03/1991