Background: The aim of this postmortem study was to compare, in Parkinson's disease subjects with and without bilateral subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS), the loss of pigmented neurons within the substantia nigra and pathological alpha-synuclein density within the SN and other brain regions.
Methods: PD subjects were identified from the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders database (STN-DBS = 11, non-DBS = 156). Pigmented neuron loss scores within the substantia nigra as well as alpha-synuclein density scores within the substantia nigra and 9 other brain regions were compared, the latter individually and in summary as the Lewy body brain load score.
Results: DBS subjects had higher alpha-synuclein density scores within the substantia nigra, olfactory bulb, and locus ceruleus, as well as higher total Lewy body brain load scores when compared with non-DBS subjects. No differences in substantia nigra pigmented neuron loss scores were found.
Conclusions: STN-DBS subjects tend to have higher alpha-synuclein density scores, but do not have a differential loss of substantia nigra pigmented neurons. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
Keywords: Lewy body; Parkinson's disease; alpha-synuclein; deep brain stimulation; subthalamic nucleus.
© 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.