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Prevalence and pathology of dementia with Lewy bodies in the oldest old: a comparison with other dementing disorders

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Johannes Attems


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BACKGROUND: While the prevalence of Alzheimer disease (AD) increases with age, little is known about the frequency of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) in the oldest old. A retrospective hospital-based study compared the relative prevalence of DLB among very old individuals. METHODS: 1,100 consecutive autopsy cases of demented patients aged over 70 years (mean age: 83.9 +/- 5.4 years) were examined using standardized neuropathological methods and current diagnostic consensus criteria. RESULTS: Evaluation of three age groups (8th-10th decade) showed a significant increase in the relative prevalence of AD with cerebrovascular lesions including mixed dementia, while AD with Lewy body (LB) pathology showed a mild but insignificant age-related increase. Both 'pure' AD and vascular dementia showed a mild but insignificant decline, while DLB (without severe AD pathology) decreased progressively. While the severity of Lewy pathology in DLB slightly decreased with age, concomitant Alzheimer-like pathology increased progressively. CONCLUSION: Whether DLB in the oldest old represents a distinct group is a matter of discussion, but the relative prevalence of AD with LB in our sample remained fairly stable.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jellinger KA, Attems J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders

Year: 2011

Volume: 31

Issue: 4

Pages: 309-316

Print publication date: 20/04/2011

ISSN (print): 1420-8008

ISSN (electronic): 1421-9824

Publisher: S. Karger AG


DOI: 10.1159/000327360


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