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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Neuropathology of dementia with Lewy bodies in advanced age: a comparison with Alzheimer disease.

  • Author(s): Ubhi, Kiren
  • Peng, Kevin
  • Lessig, Stephanie
  • Estrella, Jennilyn
  • Adame, Anthony
  • Galasko, Douglas
  • Salmon, David P
  • Hansen, Lawrence A
  • Kawas, Claudia H
  • Masliah, Eliezer
  • et al.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is a common neurodegenerative disorder of the aging population characterized by α-synuclein accumulation in cortical and subcortical regions. Although neuropathology in advanced age has been investigated in dementias such as Alzheimer Disease (AD), severity of the neuropathology in the oldest old with DLB remains uncharacterized. For this purpose we compared characteristics of DLB cases divided into three age groups 70-79, 80-89 and ≥ 90 years (oldest old). Neuropathological indicators and levels of synaptophysin were assessed and correlated with clinical measurements of cognition and dementia severity. These studies showed that frequency and severity of DLB was lower in 80-89 and ≥ 90 year cases compared to 70-79 year old group but cognitive impairment did not vary with age. The extent of AD neuropathology correlated with dementia severity only in the 70-79 year group, while synaptophysin immunoreactivity more strongly associated with dementia severity in the older age group in both DLB and AD. Taken together these results suggest that the oldest old with DLB might represent a distinct group.

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