Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 8–15 | Cite as

Diffuse Lewy body disease

Neuropathological and biochemical studies of six patients
  • D. W. Dickson
  • P. Davies
  • R. Mayeux
  • H. Crystal
  • D. S. Horoupian
  • A. Thompson
  • J. E. Goldman
Regular Papers


Post-mortem pathological and biochemical studies are reported on six patients with progressive dementia. The characteristic pathological finding was neurofilament-containing cytoplasmic inclusions in cortical and subcortical neurons. The clinical and pathological findings were consistent with so-called diffuse Lewy body disease. The patients had variable changes of the Alzheimer type, with five of six patients displaying “plaques only” Alzheimer's changes. Biochemical studies showed profound decreases in neocortical choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activities that correlated with marked neuronal loss in the basal nucleus of Meynert. ChAT activities were normal in the hippocampus in three patients who also had no significant Alzheimer type hippocampal changes. All patients had decreased cortical somatostatin-like immunoreactivity. Our observations suggest that dementia in diffuse Lewy body disease bears biochemical similarities to Alzheimer's disease, in that biochemical markers for both intrinsic cortical neurons and ascending cholinergic neurons are affected.

Key words

Choline acetyltransferase Lewy body Parkinson's disease Somatostatin Thioflavine S 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. W. Dickson
    • 1
  • P. Davies
    • 1
  • R. Mayeux
    • 3
  • H. Crystal
    • 2
  • D. S. Horoupian
    • 4
  • A. Thompson
    • 1
  • J. E. Goldman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology (Neuropathology) and Rose F. Kennedy Center for Research in Mental Retardation and Human DevelopmentBronxUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  3. 3.Department of Neurology and PsychiatryColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of PathologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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