Confluence of α-synuclein, tau, and β-amyloid pathologies in dementia with Lewy bodies

Martí Colom-Cadena, Ellen Gelpi, Sara Charif, Olivia Belbin, Rafael Blesa, Maria J. Martí, Jordi Clarimón, Alberto Lleó

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105 Citations (Scopus)


Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is pathologically characterized by α-synuclein aggregates in the brain. Most patients with DLB also show cerebral Alzheimer disease-type pathology (i.e. β-amyloid plaques and hyperphosphorylated tau deposits). It is unclear whether this overlap is coincidental or driven by specific regional or cellular interactions. The aims of this study were to investigate the regional convergence of α-synuclein, tau, and β-amyloid and to identify patterns of cellular co-occurrence of tau and α-synuclein in DLB. The study group consisted of 22 patients who met clinical and neuropathologic criteria for DLB. Protein aggregates were assessed semiquantitatively in 17 brain areas. APOE and MAPT genotypes were determined. Cellular co-occurrence of tau and α-synuclein was evaluated by double immunofluorescence. We found that total β-amyloid pathology scores correlated positively with total α-synuclein pathology scores (ρ = 0.692, p = 0.001). The factors that correlated best with the amount of α-synuclein pathology were the severity of β-amyloid pathology and presence of the MAPT H1 haplotype. Tau and α-synuclein frequently colocalized in limbic areas, but no correlation between total pathology scores was observed. This study confirms and extends the role of β-amyloid deposition and the MAPT H1 haplotype as contributing factors in DLB pathogenesis and demonstrates the confluence of multiple agents in neurodegenerative diseases. Copyright © 2013 by the American Association of Neuropathologists, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1212
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • α-Synuclein
  • β-amyloid
  • Alzheimer disease
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Parkinson disease dementia
  • Tau


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