Clinical and neuropathological aspects of diffuse Lewy body disease in the elderly

Adv Neurol. 1993:60:464-9.


This chapter reports the clinical and neuropathological findings of eight cases of "diffuse Lewy body disease" verified by autopsy. The age at onset was between 60 and 82 years; the age at death was between 75 and 92 years. The initial symptoms were amnesia in three cases, orthostatic dizziness in three, visual hallucination in two, but parkinsonism in none. The cardinal clinical symptoms included dementia in all cases, hallucinatory-delusional state in six, akinesia and rigidity in five, and orthostatic hypotension in five. Antemortem diagnoses were senile dementia in five, and hallucinatory-delusional state, Parkinson's disease and Shy-Drager syndrome in one each. Despite the clinical symptoms differences from each other, neuropathological findings were alike. Abundant Lewy bodies were present in the neurons of the cerebral cortex as well as in the brainstem nuclei and diencephalon. Concomitant senile changes including senile plaques and Alzheimer's neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) were also present in varying degree. Immunocytochemical study with anti-ubiquitin for Lewy body, anti-tau protein for NFT, and beta-protein of amyloid for senile plaque suggested that dementia of DLBD might have resulted not from a single pathology but from the complex of Lewy bodies, NFTs and senile plaques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrophy
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebral Ventricles / pathology
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Locus Coeruleus / pathology
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*
  • Substantia Nigra / pathology