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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 437025, 9 pages
Review Article

-Synuclein as CSF and Blood Biomarker of Dementia with Lewy Bodies

1Department of Neurology, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University, Niigata 951-8585, Japan
2Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92093, USA

Received 8 June 2012; Revised 24 July 2012; Accepted 24 July 2012

Academic Editor: Walter Maetzler

Copyright © 2012 Kensaku Kasuga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a common subtype of dementia in the elderly. DLB is neuropathologically characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, both of which are composed of α-synuclein. Although α-synuclein was initially considered to be an exclusively intracellular protein, it has been found to be secreted into biological fluids. α-Synuclein in biological fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood has been discussed as a potential biomarker of DLB and α-synuclein-related disorders, because α-synuclein is characteristically accumulated in the brain of patients with these disorders. The α-synuclein level in CSF has been examined by several investigators, and the majority of studies have shown a reduction in CSF α-synuclein level in DLB and α-synuclein-related disorders. Discrepant findings of studies of plasma α-synuclein level in patients with DLB have been reported. Because the level of α-synuclein stored in red blood cells is considerably high, blood contamination and haemolysis during sample collection and processing should be considered as a confounding factor for quantification of α-synuclein. Here, the recent progress in the studies of α-synuclein as a biomarker of DLB and their potential clinical applications are reviewed.