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Do Lewy Bodies Cause Parkinson’s

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Quantitative Proteomics Reveals The Temporal Sequestration Of Membranous Organelle Synaptic And Mitochondrial Proteins Into Lb


To gain further insight into the molecular interactions and mechanisms that govern LB formation and maturation, we performed quantitative proteomic analysis on the insoluble fractions of PBS or PFF-treated neurons overtime .

Temporal proteomic analyses of the protein contents found in the insoluble fraction of the PFF-treated neurons reveals a high increase in proteins related to the endomembrane system. Insoluble proteins from neurons treated with PBS and PFFs for 7, 14, and 21 d were extracted and analyzed using LC-MS/MS. Identified proteins were plotted using volcano plot. Dotted lines represent the false discovery rate < 0.05 and threshold of significance SO = 1 assigned for the subsequent analysis. A detailed list of the hits is available in Dataset S1. Classifications of the proteins significantly enriched in the insoluble fractions of the PFF-treated neurons at D14 and D21 by cellular component and biological processes using gene ontology and DAVID enrichment analyses are shown in SI Appendix, Fig. S8 B and C. Heat maps representing color-coded fold-change levels of mitochondrial and synaptic proteins present in the insoluble fraction in PFF-treated neurons.

The Process Of Inclusion Formation Is Accompanied By The Sequestration Of Lipids Organelles And Endomembranes Structures

The formation and maturation of LB-like inclusions require the lateral association and the fragmentation of the newly formed ?-syn fibrils over time. At the indicated time, PFF-treated neurons were fixed, ICC against pS129-?-syn was performed and imaged by confocal microscopy , and the selected neurons were then examined by EM . Neurite with pS129-positive newly formed ?-syn fibrils. A neurite negative for pS129 staining. Graph representing the mean ± SD of the width of the microtubules compared to the newly formed fibrils at D7. **P< 0.001 , indicating that this parameter can be used to discriminate the newly formed fibrils from the cytoskeletal proteins. Representative images at higher magnifications corresponding to the area indicated by a yellow rectangle in EM images shown in B, D, and F.

Robin Was Very Aware That He Was Losing His Mind And There Was Nothing He Could Do About It

Schneider added: “Robin was very aware that he was losing his mind and there was nothing he could do about it.”

Jacqueline Cannon said of her father’s condition: “He always used to say to me, ‘I’m losing my mind’. We say to people that LBD is not just about memory. It’s about the other symptoms that go with it, especially the hallucinations.”

In the spotlight

Like Parkinson’s disease there is currently no cure for LBD, and a need to raise awareness – the case of Robin Williams will no doubt help. Dedicated research centres do already exist, such as the leading Biomedical Research Unit in Lewy Body Dementia at Newcastle University.

Professor Ian McKeith, president of the Lewy Body Society, believes there is cause for hope however. In a piece published by The Conversation, he wrote: “Therapeutic trials have been few and far between in LBD because of a combination of a lack of compounds to test, a pre-occupation with targeting Alzheimer’s and a reluctance of regulatory bodies to recognise LBD. All of these are now changing and LBD is increasingly viewed as a malleable and commercially-viable target.”

Whats The Difference Between Lewy Body Dementia Parkinsons Disease And Alzheimers Disease

Lewy body dementia is an umbrella term for two related clinical diagnoses: “dementia with Lewy bodies” and “Parkinson’s disease dementia.” These disorders share the same underlying changes in the brain and very similar symptoms, but the symptoms appear in a different order depending on where the Lewy bodies first form.

Dementia with Lewy bodies is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory and thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with everyday activities. It specifically affects a person’s ability to plan and solve problems, called executive function, and their ability to understand visual information. Dementia always appears first in DLB. The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s such as tremor, slowness, stiffness and walking/balance/gait problems usually become more evident as the disease progresses. Visual hallucinations, REM sleep behavior disorder, fluctuating levels of alertness and attention, mood changes and autonomic dysfunction are also characteristic of DLB.

Finally, Alzheimer’s is characterized by different abnormal clumps called amyloid plaques, and jumbled fiber bundles called tau tangles. These microscopic structural changes in the brain were discovered by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906. These plaques and tangles, together with loss of connections between nerve cells, contribute to loss of coherence and memory, as well as a progressive impairment in conducting normal activities of daily living.

How Exactly Is Lewy Body Dementia Related To Alzheimers Disease And Parkinsons Disease

Lewy body dementia and Parkinson

Lewy body dementia is a broad, general term for dementia in which lewy bodies are present in the brain. Dementia with lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia are two related clinical disorders that make up the general broader category of Lewy body dementia. Sometimes LBD is first diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease based on its symptoms.

  • Parkinson’s disease dementia : You might be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease if you start out with a movement disorder typical to Parkinson’s but then have your diagnosis changed to PDD when dementia symptoms develop.
  • Alzheimer’s disease : You might start out with memory or cognitive disorder that leads to a diagnosis of AD. Over time, other distinctive symptoms begin to appear and your diagnosis is then changed to dementia with lewy bodies. Distinctive symptoms of LBD include the changes in attention, alertness and cognitive ability; changes in walking and movement; visual hallucinations; REM sleep behavior disorder and severe sensitivity to some antipsychotics used to treat hallucinations.

Synaptic Dysfunction Is Primarily Linked To The Formation And The Maturation Of The Lb

Synaptic dysfunctions were associated with the formation and maturation of the LB-like inclusions. The levels of Synapsin I, PSD95, and ERK 1/2 were assessed by Western blot over time. Actin was used as the loading control. The graphs represent the mean ± SD of a minimum of three independent experiments. Synaptic area decreases in PFF-treated neurons from D14. Aggregates were detected by ICC using pS129 and Synapsin I antibodies. Neurons were counterstained with MAP2 antibody, and the nucleus with DAPI. Measurement of the synaptic area was performed over time. ANOVA followed by Tukey honest significant difference post hoc test was performed. *P< 0.05, **P< 0.005 . ##P< 0.005 . a.u., arbitrary unit.

What Complications Are Associated With Medications Used To Treat Lewy Body Dementia

Up to 50% of people living with Lewy body dementia can have severe side effects when treated with certain antipsychotic medications. These are known as the typical or traditional antipsychotics and include such drugs as thoridazine, haloperidol, chlorpromazine and perphenazine. This class of older, first-generation antipsychotics can cause sedation and make cognitive symptoms and movement problems worse. A life-threatening reaction to an antipsychotic medication, called neuroleptic malignant syndrome, is possible. Symptoms include rigid muscles, changing blood pressure, high fever, confusion and fast heart rate. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you or your loved are taking an antipsychotic and develop these symptoms.

Visual hallucinations and behavioral changes may be treated with the newer, atypical antipsychotic medications pimavanserin , quetiapine or clozapine . However, because all antipsychotic medications – both older, typical medications and newer atypical medications – can increase the risk of death in elderly patients with dementia, you and your healthcare provider should carefully discuss the risks and benefits and using these medications.

Other medications, like antidepressants or sedative antihistamines, may increase confusion in people with LBD.

Synaptic Functions Are Impaired During The Formation And The Maturation Of The Lb

Finally, the ERK 1/2 signaling was also shown to be up-regulated during both the formation and the maturation of the LB-like inclusions . The ERK 1/2 pathway regulates neuronal cell death, oxidative stress, mitochondria fission, and integrity, as well as synaptic plasticity , which are the major biological processes dysregulated in PD. Similar to what has been previously reported in bona fide LB from PD patients , we found that p-ERK 1/2 was recruited inside the LB-like inclusions . Therefore, dysregulation of this central signaling pathway during the formation and the maturation of the LB-like inclusions could affect mitochondrial and synaptic functions.

How Can A Person Diagnosed With Lewy Body Dementia Live The Best Life Possible

First, it’s important to interact with others as much as possible. Plus exercise and eat a healthy diet to keep mind and body as strong as possible.

Use music and aromatherapy to reduce anxiety and improve mood.

Other things you can do involve seeking the help and assistance of others. Therapists can improve the quality of life of someone living with Lewy body dementia. Therapists include:

  • Physical therapists: These therapists can help improve physical strength, flexibility, balance and walking mechanics.
  • Occupational therapists: These therapists can teach skills and methods to maintain your ability to perform activities of everyday life and remain independent.
  • Speech therapists: These therapists can improve swallowing difficulties and ability to speak more clearly.

Persons with Lewy body dementia and their families can also benefit from counseling with a psychotherapist. This counselor teaches how to manage emotional and behavioral problems. Finally, joining a support group – there are support groups for persons with LBD and for the caregivers of persons with LBD. Support groups help solve day-to-day problems and frustrations through sharing similar experiences. See the resource section of this article for links to support groups.

What Can I Expect If I Or My Loved One Have A Diagnosis Of Lewy Body Dementia

Each person’s experience with Lewy body dementia is unique to them. How slowly or quickly the disease progresses is impossible to know, but may be influenced by your general health and any existing diseases you may have. Because LBD is a progressive disease, difficulties with mind and body functions get worse over time. Currently, there is no known way to stop the progression of the disease. After diagnosis, most people with LBD live between five and seven years. Some people with LBD live up to 20 years after their diagnosis.

However, there’s always hope. Research on LBD, dementia with lewy bodies, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease with dementia are ongoing. New medications are being developed and new approaches to treatment are being investigated.

Difference Between Parkinsons Disease Dementia And Dementia With Lewy Bodies

Technically, the difference between these two conditions lies in how quickly the cognitive difficulties and hallucinations develop in relation to the movement issues. In DLB, the cognitive difficulties and hallucinations develop much sooner in the disease course than in PDD, sometimes even prior to the movement difficulties. Because of the similarities between PD, PDD, and DLB, current thinking in the medical community is that they should be viewed as related diseases which fall along a continuum of Lewy body disorders.

The Processes Associated With Lb Formation And Maturation Rather Than Simply

Several studies have suggested that the formation of LBs represents a protective mechanism whereby aggregated and potentially toxic ?-syn species are actively recruited into aggresome-like structures to prevent their aberrant interactions with other cytosolic proteins and their deleterious effects on cellular organelles . A protective role for LBs is plausible if one assumes that this process is efficient. However, if this process stalls for any reason, then this will likely expose neurons to deleterious effects mediated by the presence of toxic proteins and damaged organelles and vesicles. To test this hypothesis, it is crucial to develop a neuronal and animal model system that enables uncoupling of the different stages of ?-syn aggregation, fibrillization, and LB formation. One key advantage of neuronal models, as shown in this study, is that they permit detailed investigation of the molecular and cellular changes that occur during LB formation with high temporal resolution.

The Dynamics Of Lb Formation And Maturation Induce Mitochondrial Alterations

Nomenclature of Lewy body diseases. Parkinson’s disease ...

The prominent accumulation of mitochondria and mitochondrial components within the LB-like inclusions prompted us to further investigate how the various stages of ?-syn fibrillization and LB formation influence mitochondrial functions . Although mitochondrial dysfunctions have been strongly implicated in PD and other neurodegenerative diseases , the mechanisms by which mitochondrial dysfunction is induced and how it promotes pathology formation and neurodegeneration are still unclear.

Based on our CLEM results and literature evidence, we propose that interactions between the newly formed ?-syn aggregates and mitochondria result in the increasing sequestration of mitochondrial organelles and proteins during the formation and the maturation of the LB-like inclusions, leading to severe mitochondria defects at D21 . This is in line with proteomic , IHC , and EM results obtained for LBs in postmortem PD brain tissues, which contain mitochondrial proteins and relatively intact mitochondrial organelles.

Based on our results, we suggest a working model on how subtle mitochondria-related events across the formation and maturation of LB-like inclusions might induce neurodegeneration .

Read Messages From Our Community Related To Mental Health In Advanced Pd:

“My Dad fights aggressively when his aides try to get him to do something he doesn’t want to. He gets so angry and is so strong it can take many people to restrain him.”

My Mom lives at home, but constantly thinks that she is somewhere else and wants to go home. She becomes irritated and angry with the family because she says that we are holding her hostage.”

“My husband is verbally abusive towards me. This is an entirely new aspect to his personality. He was always very loving. Now he is aggressive.”

“My wife is severely depressed. Although she can get out of bed with help, she would rather stay in bed and do nothing. She also doesn’t seem to mind that she is doing nothing all day.”

“Often, my brother doesn’t recognize me when I visit. Last week, I saw my brother in the morning, but when I spoke with him on the phone later on in the evening, he mentioned that he had not seen me in a long while.”

These quotes highlight a set of very problematic issues in advanced PD which include cognitive decline/dementia, depression, apathy, anxiety, psychosis , and behavior problems . One person often has a mixture of these symptoms and the symptoms can be inter-related.

One Of The Most Difficult Neurological Disorder Symptoms Of Parkinsons

How Is Parkinsons Disease Dementia Different From Alzheimers Disease

What Is The Prognosis And Life Expectancy For Parkinson’s Disease

Treatments For Parkinsons Disease Dementia And Dementia With Lewy Bodies

Treatments for DLB are similar to PDD and are aimed at symptom control. The motor symptoms of slowness, stiffness and walking difficulties can be treated with Levodopa. However, Levodopa can cause or exacerbate hallucinations, making it difficult to use it as a treatment for patients who have or are at risk of having hallucinations. Sometimes, clinicians will need to treat the hallucinations more aggressively in order for a patient to tolerate Levodopa given to help the motor symptoms. On the flipside, anti-psychotic medications to control hallucinations can worsen motor symptoms, so treating all the symptoms of LBD simultaneously can be a tricky balancing act.

Dynamics Of Lb Formation And Maturation Induce Mitochondrial Alterations

To validate our findings that mitochondrial dysfunctions are associated with the formation of the LB-like inclusions, we assessed the mitochondrial activity over time in PFF-treated neurons. ICC for mitochondrial markers revealed strong colocalization of mitochondria with ?-syn pS129+ aggregates starting from D14 after PFF exposure . To assess whether this recruitment of mitochondrial components influences mitochondrial function, we applied a combined protocol of high-resolution respirometry with Amplex red-based fluorometry to measure the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species . Routine respiration of intact cells was significantly reduced at D21 , while it was similar to PBS-treated control cells at the other assessed time points . Plasma membranes were subsequently permeabilized using digitonin, and substrates feeding into NADH-linked respiration were supplied. In the absence and presence of ADP, these respirational states did not significantly differ across all tested time points following PFF and PBS treatment.

Parkinsons Disease With Dementia Versus Dementia With Lewy Bodies

Some patients with Parkinson’s disease experience no or only subtle cognitive decline, and their primary limitation is their motor disorder. However, other patients with Parkinson’s disease develop dementia as a consequence of the disease. When dementia develops after an established motor disorder, we call the disease Parkinson’s disease with dementia . In contrast, when dementia develops prior to or at the same time as the motor disorder, we call the disease DLB. Although the initial sequence of symptoms differs in PDD and DLB, as the disorders progress, the symptoms and the underlying brain changes are much more similar than they are different. As such, many researchers and clinicians think of PDD and DLB as being on a continuum of a similar disease process rather than as two distinct entities.

Extending The Seeding Process Enabled The Reconstitution Of Lb

Altogether, our results suggest that the neuronal seeding model recapitulates many of the key events and processes that govern ?-syn seeding, aggregation, and LB formation . This model also allows disentangling of the two processes of fibril formation and LB formation, thus paving the way for systematic investigation of the molecular and cellular determinants of each process and their contributions to neuronal dysfunction and degeneration.

What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Ease Parkinsons Symptoms

Exercise: Exercise helps improve muscle strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and tremor. It is also strongly believed to improve memory, thinking and reduce the risk of falls and decrease anxiety and depression. One study in persons with Parkinson’s disease showed that 2.5 hours of exercise per week resulted in improved ability to move and a slower decline in quality of life compared to those who didn’t exercise or didn’t start until later in the course of their disease. Some exercises to consider include strengthening or resistance training, stretching exercises or aerobics . All types of exercise are helpful.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet: This is not only good for your general health but can ease some of the non-movement related symptoms of Parkinson’s, such as constipation. Eating foods high in fiber in particular can relieve constipation. The Mediterranean diet is one example of a healthy diet.

Preventing falls and maintaining balance: Falls are a frequent complication of Parkinson’s. While you can do many things to reduce your risk of falling, the two most important are: 1) to work with your doctor to ensure that your treatments — whether medicines or deep brain stimulation — are optimal; and 2) to consult with a physical therapist who can assess your walking and balance. The physical therapist is the expert when it comes to recommending assistive devices or exercise to improve safety and preventing falls.


Evidence That Lewy Bodies Are Not The First Sign Of Problems

In 2012, another study raised questions about the role of Lewy bodies.

Researchers examined post-mortem sections of brains from people with Parkinson’s, and found that many cells that did not contain Lewy bodies were dysfunctional or dying. These results suggest that cell death may happen before Lewy bodies form in the neurons.

Diagnosis: Parkinson’s Dementia Or Dementia With Lewy Bodies


During assessment, a specialist may look at when the dementia symptoms first appeared before reaching a diagnosis of Parkinson’s dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. 

If there have been motor symptoms for at least one year before dementia symptoms occur, specialists will often give a diagnosis of Parkinson’s dementia.

If dementia symptoms occur before or at the same time as motor symptoms, specialists will usually give a diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies.

However, it should be noted that in some cases of dementia with Lewy bodies, no motor symptoms develop at all.

There’s no single test – diagnosis is made through several different assessments, usually starting with an appointment with your GP or Parkinson’s nurse.

Some people find it helps to go to the appointment with someone who knows them well, who can give the GP or Parkinson’s nurse information about changes they’ve noticed.

Your GP can discuss your symptoms with you and carry out a physical examination, including blood and urine tests, to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms . 

Your GP may also review your medication, in case your symptoms are side effects.

If your GP thinks you have dementia, they can refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist, psychiatrist or geriatrician.

You might be referred to a memory clinic or memory service. In some areas of the country, you can refer yourself to these services.

But if you feel you need to see the specialist again, you can ask to be referred back.  

Lewy Body Dementia: A Common Yet Underdiagnosed Dementia

While it’s not a household word yet, Lewy body dementia is not a rare disease. It affects an estimated 1.4 million individuals and their families in the United States. Because LBD symptoms can closely resemble other more commonly known disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s, it is often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. In fact, many doctors or other medical professionals still are not familiar with LBD.

Dementia With Lewy Bodies And Parkinson Disease Dementia

, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Dementia with Lewy bodiesParkinson disease dementia

Dementia is chronic, global, usually irreversible deterioration of cognition.

Dementia with Lewy bodies is the 3rd most common dementia. Age of onset is typically > 60.

Lewy bodies are spherical, eosinophilic, neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions composed of aggregates of alpha-synuclein, a synaptic protein. They occur in the cortex of some patients who have dementia with Lewy bodies. Neurotransmitter levels and neuronal pathways between the striatum and the neocortex are abnormal.

Lewy bodies also occur in the substantia nigra of patients with Parkinson disease, and dementia may develop late in the disease. About 40% of patients with Parkinson disease develop Parkinson disease dementia, usually after age 70 and about 10 to 15 years after Parkinson disease has been diagnosed.

Because Lewy bodies occur in dementia with Lewy bodies and in Parkinson disease dementia, some experts think that the two disorders may be part of a more generalized synucleinopathy affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems. Lewy bodies sometimes occur in patients with Alzheimer disease, and patients with dementia with Lewy bodies may have neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson disease, and Alzheimer disease overlap considerably. Further research is needed to clarify the relationships among them.

What Is The Outlook For Persons With Parkinsons Disease

Although there is no cure or absolute evidence of ways to prevent Parkinson’s disease, scientists are working hard to learn more about the disease and find innovative ways to better manage it, prevent it from progressing and ultimately curing it.

Currently, you and your healthcare team’s efforts are focused on medical management of your symptoms along with general health and lifestyle improvement recommendations . By identifying individual symptoms and adjusting the course of action based on changes in symptoms, most people with Parkinson’s disease can live fulfilling lives.

The future is hopeful. Some of the research underway includes:

  • Using stem cells to produce new neurons, which would produce dopamine.
  • Producing a dopamine-producing enzyme that is delivered to a gene in the brain that controls movement.
  • Using a naturally occurring human protein – glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor, GDNF – to protect dopamine-releasing nerve cells.

Many other investigations are underway too. Much has been learned, much progress has been made and additional discoveries are likely to come.

What To Expect In The Late Stages Of Parkinsons Disease

The late stages of PD are medically classified as stage four and stage five by the Hoehn and Yahr scale:

Mental Health Concerns In Advanced Parkinsons Disease

I receive a lot of questions through our Ask a Doctor feature on our website concerning advanced PD, specifically around mental health issues.

The Majority Of Existing Cellular Models Are Models Of

Several in vitro assays and cellular and animal models of ?-syn aggregation and pathology formation have been developed and are commonly used to study these processes. While many of these models reproduce specific aspects or stages of LB pathology formation, none has been shown to form pathological aggregates exhibiting the biochemical and organizational complexity of ?-syn pathologies, including LBs, found in postmortem brains of patients with synucleinopathies . For the most part, classification of ?-syn aggregates as having LB-like features has been limited to very few biomarkers , namely pS129, ub, and p62 immunoreactivity and the detection of HMW aggregates in Western blotting . In very few cases, detailed studies were performed to characterize the nature of the aggregates and their morphological properties . Failure of these models to reproduce the transition of ?-syn from the aggregated/fibrillar stage to LB-like inclusions has hampered efforts to elucidate the molecular determinants and cellular pathways that regulate the different stages of LB pathology formation and to determine the role of this process in the pathogenesis of PD.

The Process Of Lewy Body Formation Rather Than Simply

  • aLaboratory of Molecular and Chemical Biology of Neurodegeneration, Brain Mind Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland;
  • bBioEM Core Facility and Technology Platform, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland;
  • cBiomolecular Screening Core Facility and Technology Platform, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland;
  • dGene Expression Core Facility and Technology Platform, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland;
  • eSwiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
  • See allHide authors and affiliations


  • Edited by Pietro De Camilli, Yale University, New Haven, CT, and approved December 31, 2019

  • Which Medicines Are Used To Treat Parkinsons Disease

    Guidelines released by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network recommend starting with a dopamine agonist, levodopa with a dopa-decarboxylase inhibitor or a monoamine-oxidase inhibitor. Other medicines are also sometimes used, usually in addition to one of these three main types of medication.

    The Relationship Between Parkinsons Disease And Sleep

    It’s unclear whether poor sleep causes parkinsonian symptoms to worsen or whether worsening parkinsonian symptoms cause poor sleep. In many cases it’s likely a case of bidirectionality, with each one exacerbating the other.

    Fragmented sleep and sleep deprivation appear to leave the brain more vulnerable to oxidative stress, which has been tied to the development of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is not usually diagnosed until individuals have developed sufficient motor symptoms, by which time a significant portion of brain cells have already been damaged. If poor sleep quality or having sleep disorders foreshadows the development of parkinsonian symptoms, these could be useful in early diagnosis of the disease.

    More research is needed to clarify the multifaceted relationship between Parkinson’s disease and sleep. A better understanding of this connection may offer medical experts the unique opportunity to screen at-risk individuals and perhaps delay the onset of the disease.

    What Are The Different Stages Of Parkinsons Disease

    Early stage

    Mid stage

    Mid-late stage

    Advanced stage

    Answering The Remaining Questions About Lewy Bodies

    Professor Peter Magill has been working in the area of Parkinson’s research for over 20 years. He is just about to start a Parkinson’s UK funded study at the University of Oxford, which aims to answer some questions we still have about Lewy bodies.

    Over the three year study, the team will look at mouse models that accurately mimic the activity of Lewy bodies in brain cells. They will use specialist equipment to look at how Lewy bodies affect the way brain cells send electrical signals, release dopamine and control movement — comparing the activity of cells that have Lewy-body like clumps with those that don’t have any clumps. They will also carefully watch how this changes over time.

    At the end of the study, the team hope to have clear evidence of why Lewy bodies are important in Parkinson’s, what they do to cells, how they affect the function of cells and when would be the best time to target them.

    “We need to focus in on the answers. That’s what I’m addressing with my research. I’m looking to answer the fundamental questions that remain about Lewy bodies, so we can focus in on a clear target for new treatments.”

    — Professor Peter Magill

    Specificity Of Lewy Bodies For Parkinson’s Disease

    A better model for Parkinson

    Although Lewy bodies are highly characteristic, they are not pathognomonic for Parkinson’s disease. They have been found in 4–6 percent of routine autopsies17,39, but their occurrence below the age of 60 years is unusual. These incidental cases may represent early undiagnosed, or preclinical parkinsonism. Yahr’s observations on the frequently subtle and elusive early symptomatology in Parkinson’s disease58 is consistent with this interpretation. An example of Lewy body formation , antedating the onset of parkinsonism, was reported by Stadlan et al.51. The rare occurrence of Lewy bodies in postencephalitic parkinsonism8,39 can be explained by the presence of both postencephalitic and idiopathic parkinsonism in the same patient. Such a coincidence cannot be claimed for a few other conditions where Lewy bodies have been described23, for example for Hallervorden-Spatz disease7.

    Treatment Depends On Properly Identifying The Type

    If pain is bilateral always assume it is central pain; pain due to PD. In my experience Azilect works great for this type of pain. Other medications which can be employed for this pain as well.

    Massage therapy works for all types of leg pain-my favorite therapy but can be costly. Water therapy may also work for all types except central pain. Physical therapy can alleviate dystonia pain, as well as musculoskeletal and radicular pain.

    If pain is due to dystonia related to levodopa intake, find out when it occurs—end of dose or at peak dose. Typically adjusting medication doses will resolve problem. However, if dystonia is an initial symptom of PD, initiating treatment with levodopa will resolve. If medication adjustment does not work well for levodopa induced dystonia, another treatment option is DBS . Pain due to dystonia independent of cause can also respond well to Botox injections, as well as centrally acting muscle relaxants. To avoid and alleviate pain caused by stiff muscles, a great treatment option is activity in the form of stretching exercises—any number of activities will do such as tai-chi or yoga. For me when I start having radicular pain shooting down my leg it is time to up my levodopa dosage.

    If you are having leg pain make sure to discuss it with your physician.

    Parkinsons Sleep Problems: Diagnosis And Treatment

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