Cardiac Alpha-Synuclein Is Present in Alpha-Synucleinopathies

Keivan Javanshiri, Tove Drakenberg, Mattias Haglund, Elisabet Englund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Alpha-synucleinopathies (AS) are characterized by pathologic aggregations of alpha-synuclein (α-syn) in the central nervous system, and comprise dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease, and multiple system atrophy. Previous studies on AS have reported findings of α-syn pathology in the peripheral nervous system of multiple organs, including the heart.

Objective: The aim of this study was to further investigate and confirm the presence of cardiac α-syn in AS compared to other major neurocognitive disorders in a neuropathologically confirmed cohort.

Methods: All deceased patients with performed autopsy and with neuropathologically confirmed AS at the Clinical Department of Pathology in Lund 2010-May 2021 were evaluated for inclusion. Cases with insufficiently sampled cardiac tissue or only limited neuropathological investigation were excluded. An age-matched group of individuals with other neurodegenerative diseases, having no α-syn in the CNS, served as controls. In total, 68 AS and 32 control cases were included in the study. Immunohistochemistry for detection of cardiac α-syn aggregates was performed.

Results: The AS group had a significantly higher prevalence of cardiac α-syn pathology (p≤0.001) than the control group, 82% and 0%, respectively.

Conclusion: This study confirms the association between AS and the presence of cardiac α-syn in a neuropathologically confirmed cohort. This motivates further research on potential pathophysiological effects on cardiac function in AS patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1131
JournalJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 24

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Neurology


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