Parkinson's Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

7. What are Lewy bodies?

Lewy bodies are unusual deposits or clumps of the brain protein alpha-synuclein, along with other proteins, which are seen upon microscopic examination of the brain. Many brain cells of people with Parkinson's disease contain Lewy bodies. Researchers do not yet know why Lewy bodies form or what role they play in the development of Parkinson's disease. The clumps may prevent the cell from functioning normally, or they may actually be helpful, perhaps by keeping harmful proteins "locked up" so that the cells can function.