The characteristic microscopic finding in
Parkinsons disease is the Lewy body. A cytoplasmic inclusion,
the eosinophilic Lewy body typically consists of a dense core
surrounded by a less intensely stained region and a faint halo.3
The peripheral halo of the Lewy body is comprised of neurofilaments
that stain for tau and ubiquitin.4 Lewy bodies have been identified
in other disorders (ie, corticobasal ganglionic degeneration and
diffuse Lewy body disease). In addition, incidental Lewy bodies
have been noted during postmortem examination of elderly patients,
with increasing prevalence in patients 60 years of age and older.
The significance of this finding is unclear, although a preclinical
form of Parkinsons disease has been suggested as the cause.5
- Lewy bodies.
3. Forno LS. Neuropathy of Parkinsons disease. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 1996;55:259-72.
4. Pollanen MS, Bergeron C, Weyer L. Detergent-insoluble cortical Lewy body fibrils share epitopes with neurofilament and tau. J Neurochem 1992;58:1953-6.
5. Fernandez A, de Ceballos ML, Rose S, et al. Alterations in peptide levels in Parkinsons disease and incidental Lewy body disease. Brain 1996;119(Pt 3):823-30.
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