Lewy- and Alzheimer-type pathologies in Parkinson's disease dementia: which is more important?

Abstract

The relative importance of Lewy- and Alzheimer-type pathologies to dementia in Parkinson's disease remains unclear. We have examined the combined associations of α-synuclein, tau and amyloid-β accumulation in 56 pathologically confirmed Parkinson's disease cases, 29 of whom had developed dementia. Cortical and subcortical amyloid-β scores were obtained, while tau and α-synuclein pathologies were rated according to the respective Braak stages. Additionally, cortical Lewy body and Lewy neurite scores were determined and Lewy body densities were generated using morphometry. Non-parametric statistics, together with regression models, receiver-operating characteristic curves and survival analyses were applied. Cortical and striatal amyloid-β scores, Braak tau stages, cortical Lewy body, Lewy neurite scores and Lewy body densities, but not Braak α-synuclein stages, were all significantly greater in the Parkinson's disease-dementia group (P<0.05), with all the pathologies showing a significant positive correlation to each other (P<0.05). A combination of pathologies [area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve=0.95 (0.88-1.00); P<0.0001] was a better predictor of dementia than the severity of any single pathology. Additionally, cortical amyloid-β scores (r=-0.62; P=0.043) and Braak tau stages (r=-0.52; P=0.028), but not Lewy body scores (r=-0.25; P=0.41) or Braak α-synuclein stages (r=-0.44; P=0.13), significantly correlated with mini-mental state examination scores in the subset of cases with this information available within the last year of life (n=15). High cortical amyloid-β score (P=0.017) along with an older age at onset (P=0.001) were associated with a shorter time-to-dementia period. A combination of Lewy- and Alzheimer-type pathologies is a robust pathological correlate of dementia in Parkinson's disease, with quantitative and semi-quantitative assessment of Lewy pathology being more informative than Braak α-synuclein stages. Cortical amyloid-β and age at disease onset seem to determine the rate to dementia.

DOI: 10.1093/brain/awr031
0500100015002011201220132014201520162017
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@article{Compta2011LewyAA, title={Lewy- and Alzheimer-type pathologies in Parkinson's disease dementia: which is more important?}, author={Yaroslau Compta and Laura Parkkinen and Sean Stephen O'Sullivan and Jana Vandrovcova and J. L. Holton and Catherine Collins and Tammaryn Lashley and Constantinos Kallis and David D. Williams and Rohan de Silva and A. J. Lees and Tamas R Revesz}, journal={Brain : a journal of neurology}, year={2011}, volume={134 Pt 5}, pages={1493-1505} }