Exome sequencing in dementia with Lewy bodies

M. J. Keogh, M. Kurzawa-Akanbi, H. Griffin, K. Douroudis, K. L. Ayers, R. I. Hussein, G. Hudson, A. Pyle, H. J. Cordell, J. Attems, I. G. McKeith, J. T. O'Brien, D. J. Burn, C. M. Morris, A. J. Thomas, P. F. Chinnery*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the second most common form of degenerative dementia. Siblings of affected individuals are at greater risk of developing DLB, but little is known about the underlying genetic basis of the disease. We set out to determine whether mutations in known highly penetrant neurodegenerative disease genes are found in patients with DLB. Whole-exome sequencing was performed on 91 neuropathologically confirmed cases of DLB, supplemented by independent APOE genotyping. Genetic variants were classified using established criteria, and additional neuropathological examination was performed for putative mutation carriers. Likely pathogenic variants previously described as causing monogenic forms of neurodegenerative disease were found in 4.4% of patients with DLB. The APOE ε4 allele increased the risk of disease (P=0.0001), conferred a shorter disease duration (P=0.043) and earlier age of death (P=0.0015). In conclusion, although known pathogenic mutations in neurodegenerative disease genes are uncommon in DLB, known genetic risk factors are present in >60% of cases. APOE ε4 not only modifies disease risk, but also modulates the rate of disease progression. The reduced penetrance of reported pathogenic alleles explains the lack of a family history in most patients, and the presence of variants previously described as causing frontotemporal dementia suggests a mechanistic overlap between DLB and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere728
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Exome sequencing in dementia with Lewy bodies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this