Investigation of Lewy pathology in the visual pathway of brains of dementia with Lewy bodies.J Neurol Sci. 2006 Jul 15; 246(1-2):95-101.JN
We examined 19 autopsied cases of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) using pathological and alpha-synuclein-immunohistochemical methods, and investigated Lewy pathology in the primary visual pathway (lateral geniculate body and Brodmann's area 17), secondary visual pathway (pulvinar, Brodmann's areas 18 and 19, and inferior temporal cortex), amygdala and substantia nigra, to clarify the relationship between visual misidentification and Lewy pathology in the visual pathway. Consequently, the secondary visual pathway revealed significantly severer Lewy pathology than the primary visual pathway, suggesting that the degeneration of the secondary visual pathway induces dysfunction in the recognition of objects shape and color. In addition, the amygdala revealed significantly severer Lewy pathology and neuronal loss than the primary and secondary visual pathways, suggesting that the degeneration of the amygdala, which receives the afferent connections from the substantia nigra, fails to modulate the visual processing according to cognition and emotion. These findings suggest that Lewy pathologies in the secondary visual pathway and amygdala may cause the dysfunction of the visuo-amygdaloid pathway and participate in visual misidentification in DLB patients. In addition, we compared Lewy pathology between cases with and without visual hallucinations, and showed no significant differences between the two groups.