Parkinson's disease: A broken nosology

Authors

  • John Hardy PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Neurogenetics, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
    2. Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies, University College London, London, United Kingdom
    • Laboratory of Neurogenetics, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Building 10, Room 6C103, MSC1589, Bethesda, MD 20892
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  • Andrew J. Lees MD

    1. Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies, University College London, London, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a clinical diagnosis. We argue here that if we are to make progress in understanding its underlying pathogenesis, there is a need to have a pathological definition of disease that includes the presence of Lewy bodies and nigral loss in the ventrolateral tier of the pars compacta of the substantia nigra. Using such a definition, there is only one certain and known cause: mutations in the α-synuclein gene. However, the phenotype of this one known cause is broader than PD and encompasses Lewy body dementia. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society

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