Medical Dictionary

Lewy body

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noun \ˈlü-ē-, ˈlā-vē-\

Medical Definition of Lewy body

  1. :  an eosinophilic inclusion body found in the cytoplasm of neurons of the cortex and brain stem in Parkinson's disease, Lewy body disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders Postmortem brain tissue from [Parkinson's disease] patients reveals the presence of inclusions called Lewy bodies in dopaminergic neurons, although whether these inclusions are a cause or a result of the disease is still unclear.—Christian Haass and Philipp J. Kahle, Science, 13 July 2001 The scientists also report that alpha-synuclein exists in the Lewy bodies characteristic of another brain disorder, a type of dementia.—Science News, 18 Oct. 1997

Biographical Note for lewy body


\ˈlü-ē\play ,

Frederic Henry

( originally

Friedrich Heinrich Lewy

) (1885–1950), American neurologist. Born in Berlin, Germany, Lewey oversaw German army field hospitals in France, Russia, and Turkey during World War I. He served as professor of clinical neurology at the University of Berlin's medical school from 1923 to 1933, researching occupational diseases of the nervous system and becoming director of the neurological institute in 1930. After emigrating to the United States in 1934, he became professor of neurophysiology at the University of Pennsylvania's medical school. From 1940 he was also professor of neuropathology in its graduate school. While there he did research on avitaminotic diseases of the nervous system. In 1913, before a convention of the German Society of Neurologists, he described in detail the eosinophilic inclusion bodies that he had discovered in the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease. By 1919 his name had become associated with these bodies.

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