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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2008;115(3):473-82. doi: 10.1007/s00702-007-0856-8. Epub 2008 Feb 26.

Cerebral amyloid angiopathy in Lewy body disease.

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  • 1Institute of Clinical Neurobiology, Vienna, Austria.


While Alzheimer and Lewy body pathologies are discussed as major substrates of dementia in Parkinson's disease (PD/Lewy body disease of brainstem type), the incidence and impact of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) and its association with cognitive decline in PD and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are unknown. The severity of CAA and other Alzheimer lesions were assessed in 68 cases of autopsy-confirmed PD, 32 of them with dementia (PDD), and in 20 cases of DLB. PDD patients were significantly older than those without dementia (mean age 84.5 vs 77.6 years; p < 0.01), the age of DLB patients was in between both groups (mean 80.0 years), while duration of disease was DLB < PDD < PD (mean 6.5 vs 8.5 and 14.3 years). PDD patients had a significantly higher neuritic Braak stage (mean 4.2 vs 2.4, p < 0.01), significantly higher cortical amyloid beta (Abeta) load, capillary cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CapCAA) and generalized CAA than those without dementia (mild CapCAA in 22% vs moderate to severe CapCAA in 87%; mild generalized CAA in 5.5% vs moderate to severe generalized CAA in 82%). Mean PD stage was higher in both DLB and PDD than in PD (mean 5.2 vs 4.5 and 4.0, respectively): Mean neuritic Braak stage in DLB was 3.4, severe Abeta plaque load was seen in 95%, moderate to severe CapCAA in 90% and mild to severe generalized CAA in 70%. This and other recent studies imply an association of CAA with cognitive decline in both PD/PDD and DLB, particularly in cases with concomitant AD-type pathology.

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