Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Density, Distribution and Prevalence of Lewy Bodies in the Elderly - Influence of Neuropsychiatric Bias with Epidemiologic and Diagnostic Implication

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Robert Perry


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smith PEM, Irving D, Perry RH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neuroscience Research Communications

Year: 1991

Volume: 8

Issue: 2

Pages: 127-135

Print publication date: 01/03/1991

ISSN (print):

ISSN (electronic):