Dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease

Acta Neuropathol. 2001 Dec;102(6):621-6. doi: 10.1007/s004010100415.


To investigate similarities and differences between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), we undertook a demographic analysis of 277 patients from the Kathleen Price Bryan Brain Bank with an antemortem diagnosis of probable AD. Patients with additional, possibly confounding clinical and pathologic diagnoses such as infarcts, hematomas, neoplasms, and other neurodegenerative disorders, were excluded from the analysis. Neuropathologically, AD alone was present in 192 subjects (69%), and DLB was found in 85 subjects (31%). All of the DLB cases had neuropathologic evidence of AD sufficient to meet CERAD criteria for a diagnosis of definite AD plus nigral Lewy bodies. Gender, apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype, brain weight, age at death, duration of disease and Braak stage were compared between the two groups. Statistical analyses were performed using Fisher's exact test for comparisons of categorical data and Student's t-test for comparison of means for continuous outcomes. The proportion of males and females was balanced in the combined AD and DLB populations. There was a highly statistically significant increased frequency of APOE 3/4 in males with DLB (P = 0.007). We found higher brain weights in males with DLB versus males with AD (P = 0.012). AD was more frequent in females and DLB was more frequent in males (P = 0.019). Our findings with respect to age at death, duration of disease and Braak stage within diagnostic groups confirm previously reported findings. These data suggest that Lewy bodies are more common in males affected with dementia, especially those with the APOE 3/4 genotype.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Lewy Body Disease / genetics
  • Lewy Body Disease / pathology*
  • Male
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors


  • Apolipoproteins E