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Brain

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 133  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 557 - 567

Neural correlates of psychotic symptoms in dementia with Lewy bodies

Y Nagahama, T Okina, N Suzuki and M. Matsuda

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the association between psychotic symptoms in dementia with Lewy bodies and brain perfusion on single photon emission tomography. Based on factor analysis in 145 patients, psychotic symptoms were classified into five symptom domains (factor 1 to 4-related symptoms and delusions). The relationship between each symptom domain and brain perfusion was assessed in 100 patients with dementia with Lewy bodies, while accounting for the effects of age, sex, dementia severity, parkinsonism and dysphoria. Factor 1 symptoms (Capgras syndrome, phantom boarder, reduplication of person and place and misidentification of person) represented misidentifications, and were significantly related to hypoperfusion in the left hippocampus, insula, ventral striatum and bilateral inferior frontal gyri. Factor 3 symptoms (visual hallucination of person and feeling of presence) represented hallucinations of person and were related to hypoperfusion in the left ventral occipital gyrus and bilateral parietal areas. Delusions of theft and persecution were associated with relative hyperperfusion in the right rostral medial frontal cortex, left medial superior frontal gyrus and bilateral dorsolateral frontal cortices. This study revealed that different psychotic symptoms in dementia with Lewy bodies were associated with distinguishable cerebral networks. Visual hallucinations were related to dysfunction of the parietal and occipital association cortices, misidentifications were related to dysfunction of the limbic-paralimbic structures and delusions were related to dysfunction of the frontal cortices. Our findings provide important insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying psychotic symptoms in dementia with Lewy bodies.

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