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Lewy bodies appear as spherical masses that displace other cell components. There are two morphological types: classical (brain stem) Lewy bodies and cortical Lewy bodies. A classical Lewy body is an eosinophilic cytoplasmic inclusion that consists of a dense core surrounded by a halo of 10-nm wide radiating fibrils, the primary structural component of which is alpha-synuclein. In contrast, a cortical Lewy body is less well-defined and lacks the halo. Nonetheless, it is still made up of alpha-synuclein fibrils.
Additional recommended knowledge
A Lewy body is composed of the protein alpha-synuclein associated with other proteins such as ubiquitin, neurofilament protein, and alpha B crystallin. It is believed that Lewy bodies represent an aggresome response in the cell.
The main disease associated with the presence of Lewy bodies is Parkinson's disease. Lewy bodies are also present in neurons in dementia with Lewy bodies and the Lewy body variant of Alzheimer's disease, as well as Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome.
Inclusions composed of alpha synuclein, different from Lewy bodies, can be found in glial cells in multiple system atrophy. These are termed glial cytoplasmic inclusions. Multiple system atrophy can be clinically confused with Parkinson's disease.
Lewy bodies were first seen and linked to Parkinson's disease ("paralysis agitans") in 1912 by the neurologist Frederic Lewy (1885-1950).
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lewy_body". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|