Lewy body-type degeneration in cardiac plexus in Parkinson's and incidental Lewy body diseases

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Article abstract

Heart tissues of patients with PD or incidental Lewy body (LB) disease (ILBD) were examined by light and electron microscopy. LBs and α-synuclein-positive neurites were identified in the hearts from 9 of 11 patients with PD and from 7 of 7 patients with ILBD. LBs were present in both tyrosine hydroxylase-positive and -negative nerve processes, which are nerves of extrinsic sympathetic and intrinsic origin, respectively. These findings provide histologic evidence that the postganglionic sympathetic and intrinsic neurons in the heart are involved in the PD disease process.

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