alpha-Synuclein antibodies recognize a protein present at lower levels in the CSF of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies

Int Psychogeriatr. 2010 Mar;22(2):321-7. doi: 10.1017/S1041610209991049. Epub 2009 Sep 14.


Background: Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) accounts for 15-20% of the millions of people worldwide with dementia. Accurate diagnosis is essential to avoid harm and optimize clinical management. There is therefore an urgent need to identify reliable biomarkers.

Methods: Mass spectrometry was used to determine the specificity of antibody alpha-synuclein (211) for alpha-synuclein. Using gel electrophoresis we measured protein levels detected by alpha-synuclein specific antibodies in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of DLB patients and compared them to age matched controls.

Results: A 24 kDa band was detected using alpha-synuclein specific antibodies which was significantly reduced in the CSF of DLB patients compared to age matched controls (p < 0.05). Further analysis confirmed that even DLB patients with mild dementia showed significant reductions in this protein in comparison to controls.

Conclusions: The current study emphasizes the necessity for further studies of CSF alpha-synuclein as a biomarker of DLB and extends our previous knowledge by establishing a potential relationship between alpha-synuclein and the severity of cognitive impairment. The identification of this 24 kDa protein is the next important step in these studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Antibody Specificity / immunology
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lewy Body Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Lewy Body Disease / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • alpha-Synuclein / cerebrospinal fluid
  • alpha-Synuclein / immunology*


  • Antibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • alpha-Synuclein