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 Using skin tissue to diagnose Lewy Body pathology 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Using skin tissue to diagnose Lewy Body pathology
This Japanese research investigated whether you could detect if someone had a Lewy body disease (PD, PDD, or DLB) from skin samples of deceased patients. Apparently the tissue from those with pathologically-confirmed MSA, PSP, and CBD did not react to the stain. The tissue from those with path-confirmed PD and PDD generally showed a reaction to the stain but less than half of those with DLB showed a reaction to the stain. The researchers conclude: "We demonstrate for the first time that the skin is involved and may be a highly specific and useful biopsy site for the pathological diagnosis of LB diseases." I find it very underwhelming....


Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology. 2008 Sep 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Lewy Body Pathology Involves Cutaneous Nerves.

Ikemura M, Saito Y, Sengoku R, Sakiyama Y, Hatsuta H, Kanemaru K, Sawabe M, Arai T, Ito G, Iwatsubo T, Fukayama M, Murayama S.
From the Department of Neuropathology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology (MI, YuS, RS, YoS, HH, SM); Department of Human Pathology (MI, MF), Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo; Department of Pathology, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital (YuS, MS, TA); Department of Neurology, The Jikei University School of Medicine (RS); Department of Neurology, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital (KK); and Department of Neuropathology and Neuroscience, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo (GI, TI), Tokyo, Japan.

Involvement of the peripheral autonomic nervous system is a core feature of Lewy body (LB) diseases, including Parkinson disease (PD), PD with dementia, and dementia with LBs.

To investigate the potential use of skin biopsy for the diagnosis of LB diseases, we assessed anti-phosphorylated alpha-synuclein immunoreactivity in peripheral nerves in samples of skin from the abdominal wall and flexor surface of the upper arm in 279 prospectively studied consecutively autopsied patients whose data were registered at the Brain Bank for Aging Research between 2002 and 2005.

Positive immunoreactivity was demonstrated in the unmyelinated fibers of the dermis in 20 of 85 patients with LB pathology in the CNS and the adrenal glands, the latter representing a substitute for peripheral autonomic nervous system sympathetic ganglia; no reactivity was seen in 194 patients without CNS LB pathology.

In 142 retrospectively studied patients autopsied from 1995 onward who had subclinical or clinical LB disease, the sensitivity of the positive skin immunoreactivity was 70% in PD and PD with dementia and 40% in dementia with LBs.

Skin immunoreactivity was absent in cases of multiple-system atrophy, progressive nuclear palsy, and corticobasal degeneration.

We demonstrate for the first time that the skin is involved and may be a highly specific and useful biopsy site for the pathological diagnosis of LB diseases.

PubMed ID#: 18800013 (see pubmed.gov for abstract only)


Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:27 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:28 pm
Posts: 697
Location: LA
Post Our private laboratory-our curious minds
Hummm... could this be why our loved ones experience itching? So many parts to the puzzle as I watch everything unfold. Robin, you are invaluable to our "research".

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Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:24 pm
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