This study demonstrated a significant loss of neurons within the lateral part of the pedunculoponite nucleus pars compacta in individuals with idiopathic Parkinson's disease and in individuals with combined Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. We also examined the extent of neuronal loss within the substantia nigra pars compacta, locus ceruleus, dorsal raphe nucleus, and nucleus basalis of Meynert. The number of pedunculopontine nucleus pars compacta neurons in the patients with Parkinson's or Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease was reduced (average, 40°) in comparison with the number in control subjects or patients with Alzheimer's disease (p < 0.01). This finding correlated significantly with the extent of loss of substantia nigra pars compacta neurons (p < 0.01).