, Volume 119, Issue 1, pp 147-149
Date: 03 Dec 2009

Are there differences in cerebral white matter lesion burdens between Parkinson’s disease patients with or without dementia?

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Dementia is common in advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD), especially in the elderly [2]. Cerebral white matter lesions (CWMLs) have been described in normal aging, vascular dementia (VD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) [4, 5]. CWMLs may be associated with increased risk of dementia, disability, and death. Whether CWML burden in AD correlates with cognitive decline remains uncertain. Reports are scant on the influence of CWMLs in PD dementia (PDD).

We reviewed medical records and autopsy findings of PD patients between 1990 and 2008 from the Sun Health Research Institute Brain and Body Donation Program. All cases reviewed had a complete neuropathological examination. Diagnosis of PD was based on UK brain bank criteria. DSM IV criteria for dementia were used. Previous studies have largely utilized ante-mortem neuroimaging quantification of white matter burden. Our study is the first to quantify CWMLs pathologically in PDD.

Pathologically, gross and microscopic neuropathologic assessments were