OBJECTIVE: The presence of concomitant Alzheimer pathology has been linked to earlier death in cases with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Recently, elevated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau protein levels have been reported to be associated with shorter survival in clinically diagnosed DLB. Correlations between CSF biomarkers and neuropathological findings in DLB are missing. The aim of this study was to investigate correlations between CSF biomarker levels and histopathological findings, with a focus on concomitant Alzheimer pathology, in neuropathologically verified DLB cases. METHODS: The extent of neurofibrillary pathology (Braak stage), neuritic plaques (CERAD stage), Alzheimer pathology (PPAD9 stage) and cerebral amyloid angiopathy was assessed in 16 cases with DLB in whom total tau (T-tau), hyperphosphorylated tau and amyloid beta 1-42 (Abeta42) protein levels in CSF had been analyzed in vivo. Demographic and clinical data were collected. RESULTS: Both Braak and PPAD9 stages were inversely correlated with Abeta42 levels, whereas CERAD stage showed no significant correlations. Cerebral amyloid angiopathy correlated positively with T-tau and T-tau/Abeta42 ratio, and inversely with Abeta42 levels, but the group showed a very heterogeneous extent of cerebral amyloid angiopathy. CONCLUSIONS: The burden of concomitant Alzheimer pathology correlates with CSF Abeta42 but not with T-tau levels in cases with neuropathologically defined DLB.
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