CSF α-synuclein levels in dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease

Moeko Noguchi-Shinohara, Takahiko Tokuda, Mitsuhiro Yoshita, Takashi Kasai, Kenjiro Ono, Masanori Nakagawa, Omar Ali El-Agnaf, Masahito Yamada

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Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is characterized by widespread depositions of α-synuclein, which are described as Lewy bodies. Recently, it was shown that neuronal cells in culture constitutively release α-synuclein into the culture medium and that α-synuclein is normally present in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of CSF α-synuclein levels in discriminating DLB from Alzheimer's disease (AD). α-Synuclein was measured in CSF from 16 patients with DLB and 21 patients with AD. Iodine-123 metaiodobenzylguanidine cardiac scintigraphy was also performed to assess Lewy body pathology. CSF α-synuclein levels did not differ significantly between DLB and AD patients. However, the duration of illness was associated with lower α-synuclein levels (p < 0.05) in DLB, while no such association was found in AD. The present data show CSF α-synuclein levels are not sensitive diagnostic markers to discriminate DLB from AD. However, the lower α-synuclein levels in DLB patients with longer duration suggest a reduction in CSF α-synuclein in association with increased severity of α-synucleinopathy in the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Alpha-synuclein
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Parkinsonism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Noguchi-Shinohara, M., Tokuda, T., Yoshita, M., Kasai, T., Ono, K., Nakagawa, M., Ali El-Agnaf, O., & Yamada, M. (2009). CSF α-synuclein levels in dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease. Brain Research, 1251, 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2008.11.055