Repository logo

Microbleeds in dementia with Lewy bodies

Published version

Change log


Firbank, Michael 
Mitra, Dipayan 
Petrides, George 
Lloyd, Jim 


Abstract: Introduction: Microbleeds are associated with the development of dementia in older people and are common in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Their prevalence and clinical importance in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is unclear. The objective of this study was to compare the rates of microbleeds in DLB with those in AD and healthy older people, and investigate associations between microbleeds and amyloid deposition, vascular risk and disease severity in DLB. Methods: DLB (n = 30), AD (n = 18) and control (n = 20) participants underwent clinical assessment at baseline and 1 year in this longitudinal observational study. 3T MRI (including T2* susceptibility weighted imaging) and florbetapir PET were carried out at baseline. Microbleeds were rated visually and a standardised uptake value ratio (SUVR) was calculated from florbetapir PET scans. Results: 40% of DLB subjects had microbleeds compared with 50% of AD and 15% of controls. Compared to DLB without microbleeds, those with microbleeds had higher systolic BP (156 ± 26 v. 135 ± 19 mmHg; p = 0.03), but did not have greater levels of vascular disease or amyloid deposition (SUVR 1.25 ± 0.24 v. 1.25 ± 0.22; p = 0.33). There was evidence of less severe dementia in DLB participants with microbleeds, but these differences may have been driven by a shorter disease duration in those with microbleeds. Conclusion: The presence of microbleeds in DLB is associated with higher blood pressure, but not with other measures of vascular disease or amyloid deposition. The relationship between microbleeds and clinical presentation remains unclear.


Funder: Avid Radiopharmaceuticals; doi:


Original Communication, Dementia with lewy bodies, Microbleeds, Imaging, Amyloid, Vascular

Journal Title

Journal of Neurology

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



Springer Berlin Heidelberg
NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre (BH120812)