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Grey matter atrophy in prodromal stage of dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Frederic Blanc, Dr Sean Colloby, Professor John O'Brien, Professor John-Paul TaylorORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


BACKGROUND: Little is known about the patterns of brain atrophy in prodromal dementia with Lewy bodies (pro-DLB).METHODS: In this study, we used SPM8 with diffeomorphic anatomical registration through exponentiated lie algebra to measure grey matter (GM) volume and investigate patterns of GM atrophy in pro-DLB (n = 28) and prodromal Alzheimer's disease (pro-AD) (n = 27) and compared and contrasted them with those in elderly control subjects (n = 33) (P ≤ 0.05 corrected for family-wise error).RESULTS: Patients with pro-DLB showed diminished GM volumes of bilateral insulae and right anterior cingulate cortex compared with control subjects. Comparison of GM volume between patients with pro-AD and control subjects showed a more extensive pattern, with volume reductions in temporal (hippocampi and superior and middle gyri), parietal and frontal structures in the former. Direct comparison of prodromal groups suggested that more atrophy was evident in the parietal lobes of patients with pro-AD than patients with pro-DLB. In patients with pro-DLB, we found that visual hallucinations were associated with relative atrophy of the left cuneus.CONCLUSIONS: Atrophy in pro-DLB involves the insulae and anterior cingulate cortex, regions rich in von Economo neurons, which we speculate may contribute to the early clinical phenotype of pro-DLB.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Blanc F, Colloby SJ, Cretin B, deSousa PL, Demuynck C, O'Brien JT, Martin-Hunyadi C, Philippi N, Taylor JP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Alzheimer's Research & Therapy

Year: 2016

Volume: 8

Issue: 1

Print publication date: 20/07/2016

Acceptance date: 29/06/2016

Date deposited: 23/09/2016

ISSN (electronic): 1758-9193

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.


DOI: 10.1186/s13195-016-0198-6


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Funder referenceFunder name
Academy of Medical Sciences
Appel a Projet Interne (API) of the University Hospital of Strasbourg
famille Jean Amrhein
Fondation Universite de Strasbourg
NIHR Dementia Biomedical Research Unit at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
University of Cambridge
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing and Chronic Disease and Biomedical Research Unit in Lewy Body Dementia at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University
Alsace Alzheimer 67
BH0070250Newcastle Healthcare Charity
BH083281Wellcome Intermediate Clinical Fellowship
BH090112Wellcome Trust Starter Grants scheme for Clinical Lecturers
IDRCB 2012-A00992-41Projet Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique (PHRC)