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Visual cortex in dementia with Lewy bodies: Magnetic resonance imaging study

  • John-Paul Taylor (a1), Michael J. Firbank (a1), Jiabao He (a2), Nicola Barnett (a1), Sarah Pearce (a1), Anthea Livingstone (a1), Quoc Vuong (a3), Ian G. McKeith (a4) and John T. O'Brien (a4)...

Abstract

Background

Visual hallucinations and visuoperceptual deficits are common in dementia with Lewy bodies, suggesting that cortical visual function may be abnormal.

Aims

To investigate: (1) cortical visual function using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); and (2) the nature and severity of perfusion deficits in visual areas using arterial spin labelling (ASL)-MRI.

Method

In total, 17 participants with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB group) and 19 similarly aged controls were presented with simple visual stimuli (checkerboard, moving dots, and objects) during fMRI and subsequently underwent ASL-MRI (DLB group n = 15, control group n = 19).

Results

Functional activations were evident in visual areas in both the DLB and control groups in response to checkerboard and objects stimuli but reduced visual area V5/MT (middle temporal) activation occurred in the DLB group in response to motion stimuli. Posterior cortical perfusion deficits occurred in the DLB group, particularly in higher visual areas.

Conclusions

Higher visual areas, particularly occipito-parietal, appear abnormal in dementia with Lewy bodies, while there is a preservation of function in lower visual areas (V1 and V2/3).

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Copyright

Royal College of Psychiatrists, This paper accords with the Wellcome Trust Open Access policy and is governed by the licence available at http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/Wellcome%20Trust%20licence.pdf

Corresponding author

Dr John-Paul Taylor, Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Wolfson Research Centre, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 5PL, UK. Email: john-paul.taylor@ncl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Visual cortex in dementia with Lewy bodies: Magnetic resonance imaging study

  • John-Paul Taylor (a1), Michael J. Firbank (a1), Jiabao He (a2), Nicola Barnett (a1), Sarah Pearce (a1), Anthea Livingstone (a1), Quoc Vuong (a3), Ian G. McKeith (a4) and John T. O'Brien (a4)...

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Visual cortex in dementia with Lewy bodies: Magnetic resonance imaging study

  • John-Paul Taylor (a1), Michael J. Firbank (a1), Jiabao He (a2), Nicola Barnett (a1), Sarah Pearce (a1), Anthea Livingstone (a1), Quoc Vuong (a3), Ian G. McKeith (a4) and John T. O'Brien (a4)...
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