The clinical features of the genetically determined forms of familial Parkinsons disease (PD) have been described in multiple reports, but there have been few comparative neuropathologic studies. Five familial PD cases, with mutations in SNCA, were matched for age, sex, and Alzheimer type pathology with sporadic PD cases. Immunohistochemistry for phospho-tau and ?-synuclein was performed in 8 brain regions. The frequency of tau pathology and the morphologic features of ?-synuclein pathology in familial PD were compared with sporadic PD using semi-quantitative methods. In familial PD, there were significantly more tau positive extra-perikaryal spheroid-like and thread-like lesions than in the sporadic PD. There was no significant difference in the amount of ?-synuclein positive neuronal perikaryal pathology between familial PD and sporadic PD, but ?-synuclein positive oligodendroglial and neuritic lesions were significantly greater in familial PD compared to sporadic PD. In the substantia nigra, familial PD had more marked neuronal loss and fewer residential neurons with Lewy bodies than the sporadic PD, suggesting a close relationship between the severity of neuronal loss and Lewy body formation. The results show a diversity of pathological features of genetically determined familial PD, and they draw attention to the possible role of tau protein in neurodegeneration. Moreover, the presence of oligodendroglial inclusions at the light and electron microscopic levels in familial PD suggests that PD and multiple system atrophy form a continuum of ?-synuclein pathology.
Progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA) is a clinical subtype of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). FTLD with tau accumulation (FTLD-tau) and FTLD with TDP-43 accumulation (FTLD-TDP) both cause PNFA. We reviewed clinical records of 29 FTLD-TDP cases in the brain archive of our institute and found only one case of PNFA. The patient was an 81-year-old male at death. There was no family history of dementia or aphasia. He presented with slow, labored and nonfluent speech at age 75. Behavioral abnormality and movement disorders were absent. MRI at age 76 demonstrated atrophy of the perisylvian regions, including the inferior frontal gyrus, insular gyrus and superior temporal gyrus. The atrophy was more severe in the left hemisphere than the right. On post mortem examinations, neuronal loss was evident in these regions as well as in the substantia nigra. There were abundant TDP-43-immunoreactive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions and round or irregular-shaped structures in the affected cerebral cortices. A few dystrophic neurites and neuronal intranuclear inclusions were also seen. FTLD-TDP showing PNFA seems to be rare but does exist in Japan, similar to that in other countries.
The present study sought to determine whether the co-occurrence of problem drinking heightens suicide risk in individuals with depression in Japan, using a sample of 784 outpatients (287 men and 497 women) with depressive disorder. Female subjects with at least a moderate problem drinking showed significantly more severe depression and suicidality than those without, but no such difference was identified in men.
We performed a quantitative neuropathological examination of the hypometabolic regions on FDG PET in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Alzheimers disease (AD) and control cases. When the DLB cases were divided into two groups according to concomitant AD pathology (ADP), neuronal loss in the temporo-parietal association area was milder in the DLB groups than in the AD group, although there were no differences between the two DLB groups. Tau and A? immunoreactivities were observed in the AD group and the DLB group with ADP, but were rare in the DLB group without ADP. Tau and A? immunoreactivities as well as numbers of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and neuritic plaques (NPs) were more common in the AD group than in the DLB group with ADP. There was no difference in neuronal loss in the occipital area among the three groups. ?-Synuclein immunoreactivity was observed in the DLB groups but not in the AD group. There were no differences in ?-synuclein immunoreactivity and number of Lewy bodies (LBs) between the two DLB groups. These findings indicate that the neuropathological bases of the hypometabolic regions in the temporo-parietal association and occipital area in DLB may be AD pathology and Lewy pathology, respectively.
There is emerging evidence implicating a role for the autophagy-lysosome pathway in the pathogenesis of Lewy body disease. We investigated potential neuropathologic and biochemical alterations of autophagy-lysosome pathway-related proteins in the brains of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Alzheimer disease (AD), and control subjects using antibodies against Ras-related protein Rab-7B (Rab7B), lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2 (LAMP2), and microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B light chain 3 (LC3). In DLB, but not in control brains, there were large Rab7B-immunoreactive endosomal granules. LC3 immunoreactivity was increased in vulnerable areas of DLB brains relative to that in control brains; computerized cell counting analysis revealed that LC3 levels were greater in the entorhinal cortex and amygdala of DLB brains than in controls. Rab7B levels were increased, and LAMP2 levels were decreased in the entorhinal cortex of DLB brains. In contrast, only a decrease in LAMP2 levels versus controls was found in AD brains. LC3 widely colocalized with several types of Lewy pathology; LAMP2 localized to the periphery or outside of brainstem-type Lewy bodies; Rab7B did not colocalize with Lewy pathology. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated specific accumulation of the autophagosomal LC3-II isoform in detergent-insoluble fractions from DLB brains. These results support apotential role for the autophagy-lysosome pathway in the pathogenesis of DLB.
Nasu-Hakola disease is an autosomal recessively inherited disease characterized by lipomembranous polycystic osteodysplasia and sclerosing leukoencephalopathy. While white matter lesions prominent in the brain have been reported in the literature, gray matter lesions have not received particular attention. In this study, we examined three autopsy cases of Nasu-Hakola disease in order to focus specifically on gray matter lesions. The ages at onset of the three cases were 20, 23 and 29 years, and the disease durations were 29, 19 and 8 years, respectively. In addition to characteristic degeneration in the cerebral white matter, such as demyelination with conspicuous fibrillary gliosis and axonal changes, all three cases showed overt pathology in the gray matter. Neuronal loss with gliosis in the thalamus (particularly in the dorsomedial nucleus and anterior nucleus), caudate nucleus, putamen and substantia nigra was prominent in all cases, and the severity corresponded to the disease duration. The cerebral cortices were relatively preserved in all cases. One case showed neuronal loss and gliosis in the gray matter of the hippocampus, possibly due to repeated episodes of epileptic convulsions. These gray matter pathologies are considered to be responsible for some of the clinical manifestations of the disease, including extrapyramidal symptoms.
Parkinsons disease dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are clinically distinguished based only on the duration of parkinsonism prior to dementia. It is known that there is considerable pathological overlap between these two conditions, but the pathological difference between them remains unknown. We evaluated Alzheimer-type pathology in 30 brains of patients with Lewy body dementia using standardized methods based on those of the Brain-Net Europe (BNE) Consortium. Only 2 of 13 PDD cases (15%) showed A?-immunoreactive pathology in the midbrain (amyloid phase IV). In contrast, 12 of 17 DLB cases (71%) exhibited midbrain involvement. Four of the DLB cases (24%) but none of the PDD cases exhibited A?-immunoreactive pathology in the cerebellum (amyloid phase V). The ratio of cases with subtentorial involvement of amyloid deposition was significantly higher in DLB than in PDD. The median of amyloid phases was significantly greater in DLB than in PDD, but there was no difference in neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) Braak stages or in Lewy body scores. When patients were classified according to whether dementia or parkinsonism had occurred first, the rate of dementia having occurred first was significantly greater in amyloid phase IV and V than in phase 0-I, with phase III in the middle, though there was no significant difference in median NFT Braak stage or mean Lewy body score associated with amyloid phase. These results suggest that amyloid deposition may contribute to the timing of the onset of dementia relative to that of parkinsonism in Lewy body dementia.
Recently, Braak and coworkers proposed a pathologic staging scheme for Parkinson disease (PD). In this staging, scheme substantia nigra pathology occurs at midstage disease, while involvement of anterior olfactory nucleus, medulla, and pontine tegmentum occur earlier. In the last stages, Lewy bodies (LBs) involve cortical areas. The general principles of the proposed staging system have been confirmed in several studies of PD, but it does not appear to fit with all LB disorders. We studied the density and distribution of LBs with alpha-synuclein immunohistochemistry in normal elderly with incidental LBs (N = 12); progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) with incidental LBs (N = 18); Lewy body disease (LBD) with minimal or no Alzheimer type pathology (N = 52); LBD with concomitant Alzheimer disease (AD) (N = 84); and cases of AD with amygdala predominant LBs (N = 64). The proportion of cases that fit the PD staging scheme was 67% for incidental LBs; 86% for PSP with LBs; 86% for pure LBD; and 84% for LBD with AD; but only 6% for AD with amygdala predominant LBs. The PD staging scheme is valid, except in the setting of advanced AD. In this situation, LBs may be unrelated to PD and more likely related to factors inherent to AD and the selective vulnerability of the amygdala to both Alzheimer and alpha-synuclein pathologies.
Missense mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene are the most common causes of both familial and sporadic forms of Parkinson disease and are also associated with diverse pathological alterations. The mechanisms whereby LRRK2 mutations cause these pathological phenotypes are unknown. We used immunohistochemistry with 3 distinct anti-LRRK2 antibodies to characterize the expression of LRRK2 in the brains of 21 subjects with various neurodegenerative disorders and 7 controls. The immunoreactivity of LRRK2 was localized in a subset of brainstem-type Lewy bodies (LBs) but not in cortical-type LBs, tau-positive inclusions, or TAR-DNA-binding protein-43-positive inclusions. The immunoreactivity of LRRK2 frequently appeared as enlarged granules or vacuoles within neurons of affected brain regions, including the substantia nigra, amygdala, and entorhinal cortex in patients with Parkinson disease or dementia with LBs. The volumes of LRRK2-positive granular structures in neurons of the entorhinal cortex were significantly increased in dementia with LBs brains compared with age-matched control brains (p < 0.05). Double immunolabeling demonstrated that these LRRK2-positive granular structures frequently colocalized with the late-endosomal marker Rab7B and occasionally with the lysosomal marker, the lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2. These results suggest that LRRK2 normally localizes to the endosomal-lysosomal compartment within morphologically altered neurons in neurodegenerative diseases, particularly in the brains of patients with LB diseases.
To determine whether TAR-DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) immunoreactivity was present in brains of argyrophilic grain disease (AGD), we immunohistochemically examined 15 cases of AGD (mean age at death: 84 years) using a panel of anti-TDP-43 antibodies, including both phosphorylation-independent and -dependent ones. Nine AGD cases (60%) showed TDP-43 immunoreactivities mainly in the limbic regions and lateral occipitotemporal cortex. TDP-43 positive structures included neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions, dystrophic neurites, glial cytoplasmic inclusions, grain-like dot-shaped structures, and neurofibrillary tangle (NFT)-like structures. The distribution of these TDP-43 positive structures was largely consistent with that of argyrophilic grains. Double-labeling confocal microscopy revealed, however, that many of phospho-TDP-43 positive structures were not colocalized with phospho-tau staining. Colocalization of phospho-TDP-43 and phospho-tau was observed only in part of neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions, grain-like structures and NFT-like structures. There were no differences in demographics, disease duration, brain weight, NFT Braak stage, or severity of amyloid burden between AGD cases with and without TDP-43-immunoreactivity. However, cases of AGD with TDP-43-immunoreactivity were assigned to higher AGD stages than those without TDP-43-immunoreactivity (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the TDP-43 pathology tended to be prominent in cases with severe grain pathology. The results of the present study indicate for the first time a high frequency of concomitant TDP-43 pathology in AGD, and suggest that abnormal accumulation of TDP-43 may be involved in the pathological process and disease progression of AGD.
Semantic dementia is a subtype of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, of which an initial symptom is semantic aphasia. Semantic dementia pathologically corresponds to atypical Picks disease (aPiD), showing ubiq- uitin-positive inclusions similar to those in dementia with motor neuron disease (D-MND). Previous studies have not clarified the regions responsible for semantic aphasia in aPiD, and there have been no reported neuropathological studies concerning its pathomechanism.
The study investigates the effects of genetic factors on the pathology of Alzheimers disease (AD) and Lewy body (LB) diseases, including Parkinsons disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.
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