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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2004 Sep;6(3):333-41.

Dementia with Lewy bodies.

Author information

1
Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Abstract

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the second most common cause of neurodegenerative dementia in older people, accounting for 10% to 15% of all cases, it occupies part of a spectrum that includes Parkinson's disease and primary autonomic failure. All these diseases share a neuritic pathology based upon abnormal aggregation of the synaptic protein α-synuciein. It is important to identify DLB patients accurately because they have specific symptoms, impairments, and functional disabilities thai differ from other common dementia syndromes such as Alzheimer's disease, vascular cognitive impairment, and frontotemporal dementia. Clinical diagnostic criteria for DLB have been validated against autopsy, but fail to detect a substantial minority of cases with atypical presentations that are often due to the presence of mixed pathology. DLB patients frequently have severe neuroleptic sensitivity reactions, which are associated with significantly increased morbidity and mortality. Cholinesterase inhibitor treatment is usually well tolerated and substantially improves cognitive and neuropsychiatrie symptoms. Although virtually unrecognized 20 years ago, DLB could within this decade become one of the most treatable neurodegenerative disorders of late life.

KEYWORDS:

Lewy body; Parkinson's disease; cholinesterase inhibitor; dementia; diagnosis; treatment; α-synuclein

PMID:
22033743
PMCID:
PMC3181810

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