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Keywords:

  • nosology;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • Lewy body dementia

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