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Grey matter atrophy in prodromal stage of dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer’s disease

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Blanc, Frederic 
Colloby, Sean J 
Cretin, Benjamin 
de Sousa, Paulo Loureiro 
Demuynck, Catherine 


BACKGROUND: Little is known about the patterns of brain atrophy in prodromal dementia with Lewy bodies (pro-DLB). METHODS: In this study, we used SPM8 with diffeomorphic anatomical registration through exponentiated lie algebra to measure grey matter (GM) volume and investigate patterns of GM atrophy in pro-DLB (n = 28) and prodromal Alzheimer's disease (pro-AD) (n = 27) and compared and contrasted them with those in elderly control subjects (n = 33) (P ≤ 0.05 corrected for family-wise error). RESULTS: Patients with pro-DLB showed diminished GM volumes of bilateral insulae and right anterior cingulate cortex compared with control subjects. Comparison of GM volume between patients with pro-AD and control subjects showed a more extensive pattern, with volume reductions in temporal (hippocampi and superior and middle gyri), parietal and frontal structures in the former. Direct comparison of prodromal groups suggested that more atrophy was evident in the parietal lobes of patients with pro-AD than patients with pro-DLB. In patients with pro-DLB, we found that visual hallucinations were associated with relative atrophy of the left cuneus. CONCLUSIONS: Atrophy in pro-DLB involves the insulae and anterior cingulate cortex, regions rich in von Economo neurons, which we speculate may contribute to the early clinical phenotype of pro-DLB.



Prodromal dementia with Lewy bodies, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Alzheimer’s disease, Alzheimer’s dementia, Prodromal Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body Disease, Mild cognitive impairment, MRI, Insula

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Alzheimer's Research and Therapy

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Springer Nature
This study was funded by Appel à Projet Interne (API) of the University Hospital of Strasbourg, Alsace Alzheimer 67, Fondation Université de Strasbourg and famille Jean Amrhein, and Projet Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique (PHRC) inter-régional (IDRCB 2012-A00992-41). The work was also supported by the following: the Newcastle Healthcare Charity (BH0070250); Academy of Medical Sciences, Wellcome Trust Starter Grants scheme for Clinical Lecturers (BH090112 to JPT); Wellcome Intermediate Clinical Fellowship (BH083281 to JPT); National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing and Chronic Disease and Biomedical Research Unit in Lewy Body Dementia, based at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University; NIHR Dementia Biomedical Research Unit at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge.