Marinesco bodies and substantia nigra neuron density in Parkinson's disease
Coinciding with initiation of MB formation in early adulthood, cell death among the pigmented SN neurons begins to occur. Between the ages of 20 and 90 years, more than a third of SN neurons are lost 7. Although cell death continues in the presence of PD, low MB frequency in PD corresponds with a time when neuron density has reached a critical threshold. Some suggest a threshold of near 50% in SN neuron loss is needed before the classic motor signs of PD begin to appear 8.
While cell death in the SN is considered part of PD progression 7, changes in MB frequency at PD onset could be a feature that distinguishes PD from other neurodegenerative disorders. If this is the case, then studies of MB could be important in understanding mechanisms unique to PD. Our objective is to examine the association of MB with SN neuron density in PD in the Honolulu‐Asia Aging Study (HAAS).