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Visual cortex in dementia with Lewy bodies: magnetic resonance imaging study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John-Paul TaylorORCiD, Dr Michael FirbankORCiD, Dr Jiabao He, Nicola Barnett, Dr Sarah Pearce, Dr Quoc Vuong, Professor Ian McKeith, Professor John O'Brien



Background Visual hallucinations and visuoperceptual deficits are common in dementia with Lewy bodies, suggesting that cortical visual function may be abnormal. Aims To investigate: (1) cortical visual function using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); and (2) the nature and severity of perfusion deficits in visual areas using arterial spin labelling (ASL)-MRI. Method In total, 17 participants with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB group) and 19 similarly aged controls were presented with simple visual stimuli (checkerboard, moving dots, and objects) during fMRI and subsequently underwent ASL-MRI (DLB group n = 15, control group n = 19). Results Functional activations were evident in visual areas in both the DLB and control groups in response to checkerboard and objects stimuli but reduced visual area V5/MT (middle temporal) activation occurred in the DLB group in response to motion stimuli. Posterior cortical perfusion deficits occurred in the DLB group, particularly in higher visual areas. Conclusions Higher visual areas, particularly occipito-parietal, appear abnormal in dementia with Lewy bodies, while there is a preservation of function in lower visual areas (V1 and V2/3).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Taylor JP, Firbank MJ, He JB, Barnett N, Pearce S, Livingstone A, Vuong Q, McKeith IG, O'Brien JT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Psychiatry

Year: 2012

Volume: 200

Issue: 6

Pages: 491-498

Print publication date: 12/04/2012

Date deposited: 10/06/2013

ISSN (print): 0007-1250

ISSN (electronic): 1472-1465

Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists


DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.099432


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