Reduced orexin immunoreactivity in Perry syndrome and multiple system atrophy

Takayasu Mishima, Koji Kasanuki, Shunsuke Koga, Monica Castanedes-Casey, Zbigniew K. Wszolek, Yoshio Tsuboi, Dennis W. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction Orexin is a neuropeptide that plays a key role in maintaining a state of arousal, and possibly associates with sleep apnea syndrome (SAS). Reduced orexin immunoreactivity has been reported in various neurologic conditions such as narcolepsy, Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body disease and multiple system atrophy (MSA); however, there has been no report investigating orexin in Perry syndrome, a rare hereditary neurodegenerative disease characterized by four clinical cardinal signs (parkinsonism, depression/apathy, weight loss, and central hypoventilation). Perry syndrome patients frequently have sleep disturbances, including SAS and insomnia. Methods We evaluated orexin immunoreactivity in Perry syndrome. Using imaging analysis, we quantitatively assessed orexin immunoreactivity in the nucleus basalis of Meynert in three Perry syndrome cases, as well as five cases of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with motor neuron disease, five cases of MSA and five age-matched controls. For these cases, antemortem clinical information on sleep disturbances has been reviewed. Results In Perry syndrome and MSA, there was reduction of orexin immunoreactivity compared with controls (Perry syndrome: p = 0.020, MSA: p < 0.001). In contrast, FTLD-MND did not have significant reduction of orexin immunoreactivity. Two out of three cases of Perry syndrome had SAS confirmed by polysomnography. Conclusions This is the first report assessing orexin immunoreactivity in Perry syndrome, and it showed significant reduction, similar to select neurodegenerative diseases, such as MSA. Further analysis with more cases will be needed to elucidate the specific mechanism of orexin loss in these disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-89
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Frontotemporal lobar degeneration with motor neuron disease
  • Hypocretin
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Orexin
  • Perry syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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