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Delayed blink reflex in dementia with Lewy bodies
  1. Laura Bonanni1,
  2. Francesca Anzellotti1,
  3. Sara Varanese1,
  4. Astrid Thomas1,
  5. Lamberto Manzoli2,
  6. Marco Onofrj1
  1. 1
    Neurophysiopathology, Department of Oncology and Neuroscience, University “G D’Annunzio”, “G D’Annunzio” Foundation CESI, Chieti-Pescara, Italy
  2. 2
    Section of Epidemiology and Public Health, University G D’Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Italy
  1. Professor Marco Onofrj, Neurophysiopathology, Department of Oncology and Neuroscience, University G D’Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Italy; onofrj{at}


Blink reflexes (BR) to electric stimuli of the supraorbital nerve were recorded in 26 patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), 26 patients with multiple system atrophy, 26 patients with Parkinson’s disease, with or without REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD), and in 20 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and 20 with progressive supranuclear palsy without RBD, and compared with recordings in 30 healthy controls. BR were significantly delayed (p<0.001) only in DLB patients in comparison with controls and with the other groups of patients; 14 (53.8%) patients had BR latency above 2 SD of the control mean, ranging from 36.1 to 46.3 ms. BR latency was not related to the presence of RBD, while a Spearman correlation rho of 0.68 was found for scores assessing the presence of cognitive fluctuations. R2 delay was prominently (71.5%) bilateral.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Abbreviations:
    Alzheimer’s disease
    blink reflexes
    Cognitive Assessment of Fluctuations
    dementia with Lewy bodies
    multiple system atrophy
    Parkinson’s disease
    progressive supranuclear palsy
    REM sleep behaviour disorder

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