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J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;64(2):505-513. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180167.

Clinical Subtypes of Dementia with Lewy Bodies Based on the Initial Clinical Presentation.

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Memory Unit, Neurology Department, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain.
Institut d'Investigacions Biomediques Sant Pau - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas, CIBERNED, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.
Nuclear Medicine Department, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain.



Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a heterogeneous disease in which clinical presentation, symptoms, and evolution widely varies between patients.


To investigate the existence of clinical subtypes in DLB based on the initial clinical presentation.


81 patients with a clinical diagnosis of probable DLB were consecutively included. All patients underwent a neurological evaluation including a structured questionnaire about neuropsychiatric symptoms and sleep, an assessment of motor impairment (Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale subscale III), and a formal neuropsychological evaluation. Onset of core symptoms (hallucinations, parkinsonism, and fluctuations) and dementia were systematically reviewed from medical records. We applied a K-means clustering method based on the initial clinical presentation.


Cluster analysis yielded three different groups. Patients in cluster I (cognitive-predominant, n = 46) presented more frequently with cognitive symptoms (95.7%, n = 44, p < 0.001), and showed a longer duration from onset to DLB diagnosis (p < 0.001) than the other clusters. Patients in cluster II (neuropsychiatric-predominant, n = 22) were older at disease onset (78.1±5 versus 73.6±6.1 and 73.6±4.2 in clusters I and III, respectively, both p < 0.01), presented more frequently with psychotic symptoms (77.3%, n = 17), and had a shorter duration until the onset of hallucinations (p < 0.001). Patients in cluster III (parkinsonism-predominant, n = 13) showed a shorter time from onset to presence of parkinsonism (p < 0.001) and dementia (0.008).


Three clinical subtypes of DLB can be defined when considering the differential initial presentations. The proposed subtypes have distinct clinical profiles and progression patterns.


Clinical subtypes; Lewy bodies; cluster analyses; dementia with Lewy bodies


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