What histologic findings i Lewy bodies in patients with Parkinson disease (PD)?

Updated: Aug 29, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Hauser, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Alpha-synuclein is a major structural component of Lewy bodies; all Lewy bodies stain for alpha-synuclein, and most also stain for ubiquitin. Lewy bodies are concentric, eosinophilic, cytoplasmic inclusions with peripheral halos and dense cores. The presence of Lewy bodies within pigmented neurons of the substantia nigra is characteristic, but not pathognomonic, of Parkinson disease. Lewy bodies are also found in the cortex, nucleus basalis, locus ceruleus, intermediolateral column of the spinal cord, and other areas.

According to the Braak hypothesis, Lewy body pathology in the brain begins in the olfactory bulb and lower brainstem and slowly ascends to affect dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra and, ultimately, the cerebral cortex. [40] Lewy body pathology is also observed in autonomic nerves of the gut and heart.

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