Brain tissue damage in dementia with Lewy bodies: An in vivo diffusion tensor MRI study

M. Bozzali, A. Falini, M. Cercignani, F. Baglio, E. Farina, M. Alberoni, P. Vezzulli, F. Olivotto, F. Mantovani, T. Shallice, G. Scotti, N. Canal, R. Nemni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present study was to apply diffusion tensor MRI (DT-MRI), a quantitative MRI measure which reflects tissue organization, to dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). DT-MRI scans were obtained from 15 patients with probable DLB and 10 sex- and age-matched healthy controls. Abnormalities were found in the corpus callosum, pericallosal areas and the frontal, parietal, occipital and, less prominently, temporal white matter of patients compared with controls. Abnormalities were also found in the caudate nucleus and the putamen. The average grey matter volume was lower in patients than in controls. These findings of concomitant grey matter atrophy and white matter abnormalities (as detected by DT-MRI) in regions with a high prevalence of long connecting fibre tracts might suggest the presence of neurodegeneration involving associative cortices. The modest involvement of the temporal lobe fits with the relative preservation of global neuropsychological measures and memory tasks in the early stage of DLB. The selective involvement of parietal, frontal and occipital lobes might explain some of the clinical and neuropsychological features of DLB, providing a possible distinctive marker for this disease. The abnormalities found in the subcortical grey matter may indicate that DLB and Parkinson's disease share a similar nigrostriatal involvement caused by common pathophysiological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1595-1604
Number of pages10
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • Dementia
  • Diffusion tensor
  • Lewy body
  • MRI
  • Neuropsychological

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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