Alzheimer disease with amygdala Lewy bodies: a distinct form of alpha-synucleinopathy

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2006 Jul;65(7):685-97. doi: 10.1097/01.jnen.0000225908.90052.07.


Lewy bodies (LBs) are alpha-synuclein-immunoreactive neuronal inclusions with a predilection for specific cortical and subcortical regions, including the amygdala. In this study, the presence of LBs was assessed in 347 cases of Alzheimer disease (AD). In 87 cases, LB pathology was diagnostic of brainstem (n=3), transitional (n=32), or diffuse (n=52) Lewy body disease (LBD). The remaining 260 cases of AD were screened for amygdala LBs (AD/ALB) and 62 (24%) cases were found. If AD/LBD cases are included, LBs were detected in 149 (43%) cases of AD. The presence alpha-synuclein pathology was assessed in multiple brain regions of the 62 cases of AD/ALB and 57 randomly selected cases of AD, and only sparse alpha-synuclein pathology was detected in both. The burden of alpha-synuclein pathology in brainstem nuclei, amygdala, and neocortex was significant lower in AD/ALB than in AD/LBD. In comparison to AD/LBD, AD/ALB did not differ in age at death, disease duration, male-to-female ratio, brain weight, Braak neurofibrillary tangle stage, average senile plaque density, or apolipoprotein E epsilon4 allele frequency. The results suggest that AD/ALB is pathologically different from AD/LBD, suggesting that it is a neuropathologically distinct and isolated alpha-synucleinopathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Amygdala / pathology*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lewy Bodies / metabolism
  • Lewy Bodies / pathology*
  • Lewy Bodies / ultrastructure
  • Lewy Body Disease / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics as Topic
  • alpha-Synuclein / metabolism


  • alpha-Synuclein