Show Summary Details
Page of

Dementia with Lewy bodies 

Dementia with Lewy bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies

I. G. McKeith

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 27 January 2022

Lewy bodies are spherical neuronal inclusions, first described by the German neuropathologist Friederich Lewy while working in Alzheimer's laboratory in Munich in 1912. In 1961, Okazaki published case reports about two elderly men who presented with dementia and died shortly after with severe extrapyramidal rigidity. Autopsy showed Lewy bodies in their cerebral cortex. Over the next 20 years, 34 similar cases were reported, all by Japanese workers. Lewy body disease was thus considered to be a rare cause of dementia, until a series of studies in Europe and North America, in the late 1980s, identified Lewy bodies in the brains of between 15 and 20 per cent of elderly demented cases reaching autopsy. Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is unlikely to be a newly occurring disorder, since re-examination of autopsy material collected from elderly demented patients in Newcastle during the 1960s, reveals cortical Lewy bodies in 17 per cent of cases. The recent recognition of DLB as the second most common form of degenerative dementia in old age is largely due to the widespread use of improved neuropathological techniques, initially antiubiquitin immunocytochemistry, and more recently specific staining for alpha-synuclein which is a core constituent of Lewy bodies and related lesions.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.