The relevance of the Lewy body to the pathogenesis of idiopathic Parkinson's disease.

In view of the common and widespread occurrence of this disorder we propose that endogenous mechanisms operating in early life may be more important than environmental agents in the pathogenesis of Lewy bodies and Parkinson's disease

W R Gibb; A J Lees


Scholarcy highlights

  • In an attempt to clarify the size and characteristics of the population with incidental Lewy body disease we have examined 273 brains obtained from two sources
  • 50s may be an overestimate and a figure more in line with that of 1 8% in reported studies is suggested. In these studies over 140 brains of persons in their 40s were examined suggesting that the prevalence for Lewy bodies in this decade is less than 07%. These observations conform to the hypothesis that incidental Lewy body cases have the same progressive pathology as that seen in Parkinson's disease
  • Some incidental Lewy body cases could represent preclinical cases of Parkinson's disease with a substantially slower rate of progression, the indistinguishable morphological changes suggest that the basic pathogenetic mechanisms are similar
  • The speed of age-related cell loss in the substantia nigra has not been clearly established, but is probably not substantial. An early life origin has been proposed in order to explain lifelong personality differences and onset of disease as early as the third decade. Probable lines of research should include a search for endogenous neurotoxins

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