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1.  Respiratory dysrhythmia in dementia with Lewy bodies: a cross-sectional study 
BMJ Open  2013;3(9):e002870.
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the second most common form of neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer's disease (AD). DLB is characterised by intracytoplasmic inclusions called Lewy bodies that are often seen in the brainstem. Because modulation of the respiratory rhythm is one of the most important functions of the brainstem, patients with DLB may exhibit dysrhythmic breathing. This hypothesis has not yet been systematically studied. Therefore, we evaluated the association between DLB and dysrhythmic breathing.
In this cross-sectional study consecutive inpatients who were admitted for the evaluation of progressive cognitive impairment were enrolled. We assessed breathing irregularity using polysomnographic recordings on bed rest with closed eyes, without reference to the clinical differentiation among DLB, AD and having no dementia.
Single centre in Japan.
14 patients with DLB , 21 with AD and 12 without dementia were enrolled in this study.
Primary outcome measures
The coefficient of variation (CV) of the breath-to-breath time was calculated. We also examined the amplitude spectrum A(f) obtained using the fast Fourier transform and Shannon entropy S of A(f) in patients with DLB compared with patients with AD and patients without dementia.
The values of CV and entropy S were significantly higher in patients with DLB than in patients with AD and patients without dementia. No significant differences were observed between patients with AD and patients without dementia.
Patients with DLB exhibit dysrhythmic breathing compared with patients with AD and patients without dementia. Dysrhythmic breathing is a new clinical feature of DLB and the spectral analysis of breathing patterns can be clinically useful for the diagnostic differentiation of DLB from AD.
PMCID: PMC3773650  PMID: 24022387
2.  Familial Aggregation of Dementia With Lewy Bodies 
Archives of Neurology  2011;68(1):90-93.
Familial aggregation of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) remains unclear.
To determine the degree of family aggregation of DLB by comparing DLB risk between siblings of probands with clinically diagnosed DLB and siblings of probands with clinically diagnosed Alzheimer disease in a cohort of Caribbean Hispanic families and to explore the degree of aggregation of specific clinical manifestations (ie, cognitive fluctuations, visual hallucinations, and parkinsonism) in DLB.
Familial cohort study.
Academic research.
We separately compared risks of possible DLB, probable DLB, and clinical core features of DLB (cognitive fluctuations, visual hallucinations, and parkinsonism) between siblings of probands with clinically diagnosed DLB (n=344) and siblings of probands with clinically diagnosed Alzheimer disease (n=280) in 214 Caribbean Hispanic families with extended neurologic and neuropsychological assessment.
Main Outcome Measures
We applied general estimating equations to adjust for clustering within families. In these models, age and proband disease status were independent variables, and disease status of siblings was the measure of disease risk and the dependent variable.
Compared with siblings of probands having clinically diagnosed Alzheimer disease, siblings of probands having clinically diagnosed DLB had higher risks of probable DLB (odds ratio [OR], 2.29; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04–5.04) and visual hallucinations (2.32; 1.16–4.64). They also had increased risks of possible DLB (OR, 1.51; 95% CI, 0.97–2.34) and cognitive fluctuations (1.55; 0.95–2.53).
Dementia with Lewy bodies and core features of DLB aggregate in families. Compared with siblings of probands having clinically diagnosed AD, siblings of probands having clinically diagnosed DLB are at increased risks of DLB and visual hallucinations. These findings are an important step in elucidating the genetic risk factors underlying DLB and in delineating DLB from other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer disease.
PMCID: PMC3268781  PMID: 21220678
3.  Comparison of Clinical Manifestation in Familial Alzheimer's disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies 
Archives of neurology  2008;65(12):1634-1639.
The clinical delineation of Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains unclear.
To compare the neuropsychological profiles of patients with clinically diagnosed Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer's disease (AD).
We first compared measures of memory, orientation, language, executive, visual perception and visual construction function between persons with DLB and AD in two Caribbean Hispanic cohorts, including a family dataset (DLB =89; AD: n=118) and an epidemiologic dataset (DLB: n=70; AD: n=157). DLB in the family sample was further divided into i) families with two or more affected family members (DLB), or ii) one affected family member (DLB). To determine whether observed differences in cognitive profiles were driven by heritable factors, we then repeated the analyses in the epidemiologic cohort excluding all familial cases. We applied general linear models adjusting for age, sex, education, disease duration, and APOE-ε4 genotype.
Persons with DLB were in both cohorts more severely impaired in orientation, visual construction and non verbal reasoning after controlling for potential confounders. Persons with 2 or more DLB cases per family had the most severe impairment in episodic and semantic memory, followed by those with one DLB case per family, then by those with AD. When familial AD and DLB cases were excluded from the analysis in the epidemiologic cohort, the differences between the AD and DLB groups persisted but were attenuated.
Compared to persons with AD, persons with DLB are more severely impaired in various cognitive domains, particularly orientation, visual perception and visual construction. The difference appears strong in familial rather than sporadic DLB. Whether this divergence in cognitive functions is caused by gene-gene or gene-environmental interactions remains unclear.
PMCID: PMC2633487  PMID: 19064751
4.  Dementia with Lewy Bodies versus Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease Dementia: A Comparison of Cognitive Profiles 
Background and Purpose
It is particularly difficult to differentiate dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) from the related dementias of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD). Few studies have been designed to comparatively analyze detailed neuropsychological assessments of DLB patients and patients with AD and PDD.
Three groups of patients participated in this study: 10 with DLB, 76 with AD, and 17 with PDD, who had been diagnosed as probable DLB, AD, and PDD, respectively, according to the clinical criteria of the consortium on DLB, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Diseases and Stroke/Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorder Association, and the clinical diagnostic criteria for PDD. All patients were evaluated by careful neurological examination with detailed neuropsychological testing.
Significant differences among the three groups were found for attention, memory, and executive function, which included tasks of backward digit span, three-word recall, verbal delayed recall, and the Stroop test. Post hoc analysis revealed that the deficiencies of attention on the digit span task were greater in the DLB group than in the AD and PDD groups. The scores for episodic verbal memory tasks were significantly lower in the DLB and AD groups than in the PDD group. The performance in frontal executive function, as indicated by the Stroop test, was significantly worse in the DLB and PDD groups than in the AD group.
The results of the present study show that the pattern of cognitive dysfunction, in terms of attention, episodic memory, and executive functions, differ between patients with DLB and patients with AD and PDD.
PMCID: PMC3079155  PMID: 21519522
dementia with lewy bodies; Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease dementia; cognition; neuropsychology
5.  Imaging Improves Diagnosis of Dementia with Lewy Bodies 
Psychiatry Investigation  2009;6(4):233-240.
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the second most common cause of degenerative dementia after Alzheimer's disease (AD), and is clinically characterized by the progressive cognitive decline with fluctuations in cognition and alertness, recurrent visual hallucinations and Parkinsonism. Once these characteristic symptoms of DLB emerge, discriminating it from AD is relatively easy. However, in the early disease stages, the clinical symptoms of various types of dementias largely overlap and it is difficult to distinguish DLB from other neurodegenerative dementias based on clinical manifestations alone. To increase the accuracy of antemortem diagnosis of DLB, the latest diagnostic criteria incorporate findings from 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) myocardial scintigraphy, or from neuroimaging such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and positron emission tomography (PET). In the present guidelines, decreased dopamine transporter uptake revealed by SPECT or PET receives the greatest importance among various neuroimaging findings and is listed as one of the suggestive features. Supportive features that commonly present but are not proven to have diagnostic specificity include relatively-preserved medial-temporal-lobe structures, occipital hypoperfusion, and abnormal MIBG myocardial scintigraphy. In this paper, we review the major findings on various neuroimaging modalities and discuss the clinical usefulness of them for the diagnosis of DLB. Although there is not enough evidence to reach the conclusion, considering the accessibility in clinical practice, in our personal views, we recommend the use of brain-perfusion SPECT and MIBG myocardial scintigraphy to improve the diagnosis of DLB.
PMCID: PMC2808791  PMID: 20140120
Dementia; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Magnetic resonance imaging; Single photon emission computed tomography; Positron emission tomography; 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine myocardial scintigraphy
6.  Multimodality Imaging Characteristics of Dementia with Lewy Bodies 
Neurobiology of Aging  2011;33(9):2091-2105.
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the second most common cause of neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our objective was to determine whether the 11C–Pittsburgh Compound-B (PiB) retention and regional hypometabolism on PET and regional cortical atrophy on MRI are complementary in characterizing patients with DLB and differentiating them from AD. We studied age, gender and education matched patients with a clinical diagnosis of DLB (n=21), AD (n=21), and cognitively normal subjects (n=42). Hippocampal atrophy, global cortical PiB retention and occipital lobe metabolism in combination distinguished DLB from AD better than any of the measurements alone (area under the receiver operating characteristic=0.98).Five of the DLB and AD patients who underwent autopsy were distinguished through multimodality imaging. These data demonstrate that MRI and PiB PET contribute to characterizing the distinct pathological mechanisms in patients with AD compared to DLB. Occipital and posterior parietotemporal lobe hypometabolism is a distinguishing feature of DLB and this regional hypometabolic pattern is independent of the amyloid pathology.
PMCID: PMC3288845  PMID: 22018896
Dementia with Lewy bodies; MRI; PET; FDG; PiB; Alzheimer's disease
7.  Comparison of cognitive decline between dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease: a cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(1):e000380.
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) accounts for 10%–15% of dementia cases at autopsy and has distinct clinical features associated with earlier institutionalisation and a higher level of carer distress than are seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD). At present, there is on-going debate as to whether DLB is associated with a more rapid cognitive decline than AD. An understanding of the rate of decline of cognitive and non-cognitive symptoms in DLB may help patients and carers to plan for the future.
In this cohort study, the authors compared 100 AD and 58 DLB subjects at baseline and at 12-month follow-up on cognitive and neuropsychiatric measures.
Patients were recruited from 40 European centres.
Subjects with mild–moderate dementia. Diagnosis of DLB or AD required agreement between consensus panel clinical diagnosis and visual rating of 123I-FP-CIT (dopamine transporter) single photon emission computed tomography neuroimaging.
Outcome measures
The Cambridge Cognitive Examination including Mini-Mental State Examination and Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI).
The AD and DLB groups did not differ at baseline in terms of age, gender, Clinical Dementia Rating score and use of cholinesterase inhibitors or memantine. NPI and NPI carer distress scores were statistically significantly higher for DLB subjects at baseline and at follow-up, and there were no differences between AD and DLB in cognitive scores at baseline or at follow-up. There was no significant difference in rate of progression of any of the variables analysed.
DLB subjects had more neuropsychiatric features at baseline and at follow-up than AD, but the authors did not find any statistically significant difference in rate of progression between the mild–moderate AD and DLB groups on cognitive or neuropsychiatric measures over a 12-month follow-up period.
Article summary
Article focus
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) has distinct neuropsychiatric features.
At present, we do not know whether the poorer prognosis of DLB is due to a more rapid cognitive decline compared with Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Key messages
In this fairly large cohort of patients with DLB and AD, while there was no difference in level of cognitive impairment (Cambridge Cognitive Examination (CAMCOG) score) at baseline and at 12-month follow-up, DLB patients had significantly higher Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and NPI carer distress scores both at baseline and at 12-month follow-up.
Therefore, the worse prognosis of DLB is likely to be mediated by neuropsychiatric or other symptoms and not only by cognitive decline.
Strengths and limitations of this study
Inclusion of high number of subjects from 40 European clinical centres.
Well-characterised cases with both consensus panel clinical diagnosis (three clinical experts) and dopaminergic transporter single photon emission computed tomography imaging.
No autopsy data were available and therefore it is possible that more rapid cognitive decline may be present in pure DLB.
Only 1 year of follow-up.
There was higher attrition rate (no-follow-up assessment) in the DLB group, and DLB patients that did not return for follow-up were more impaired than AD patients.
PMCID: PMC3330257  PMID: 22318660
8.  Capgras syndrome in Dementia with Lewy Bodies 
Capgras syndrome is characterized by the recurrent, transient belief that a person has been replaced by an identical imposter. We reviewed clinical characteristics of Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) patients with Capgras syndrome compared to those without Capgras.
We identified 55 consecutive DLB patients (11 cases with Capgras syndrome (DLB-C) and 44 cases without evidence of Capgras (DLB). Semi-structured interviews with the patient and an informant, neurological exams, and neuropsychological testing were performed. Caregivers were assessed for caregiver burden and depression. Primary comparisons were made between DLB-C and DLB. Exploratory analyses using stepwise logistic regression and bootstrap analyses were performed to determine clinical features associated with Capgras.
DLB-C patients experienced more visual hallucinations and self-reported anxiety, had higher scores on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, and were less likely to be treated with cholinesterase inhibitors at time of initial evaluation. Extrapyramidal symptoms and depression were not associated with Capgras. Caregivers of DLB-C patients had higher caregiver burden. DLB-C was associated with self-reported anxiety (OR 10.9; 95% CI 2.6–47.6). In a bootstrap analysis, clinical findings that were predictors of Capgras included visual hallucinations (log(OR) 18.3; 95% CI 17.9–19.3) and anxiety (log(OR) 2.9; 95% CI (0.31–20.2).
Our study suggests that Capgras syndrome is common in DLB and usually occurs in the presence of anxiety and visual hallucinations, suggesting related etiopathogenesis. Early appreciation of Capgras syndrome may afford the opportunity to alleviate caregiver burden and improve patient and caregiver outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3713629  PMID: 12489921
Lewy body; dementia; Capgras syndrome; caregiver burden; hallucinations; delusions
9.  Higher cortical deficits influence attentional processing in dementia with Lewy bodies, relative to patients with dementia of the Alzheimer's type and controls 
Attentional dysfunction is believed to be a prominent and distinguishing neuropsychological feature of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB); yet, the specific nature of the attentional deficit and factors that can potentially influence attentional processing in DLB have not been fully defined.
To clarify the nature of the attentional deficit in early‐stage DLB relative to patients with early‐stage dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT) and elderly controls, and examine the effect of task complexity and type of cognitive load on attentional processing in DLB.
Attentional impairment and fluctuating attention were investigated in three groups of subjects—patients with clinical features of early probable DLB (n = 20), a group with early probable DAT (n = 19) and healthy elderly controls (n = 20)—using an experimental computerised reaction time paradigm.
Patients with DLB showed greater attentional impairment and fluctuations in attention relative to patients with DAT and elderly controls. The attentional deficit was generalised in nature but increased in magnitude as greater demands were placed on attentional selectivity. Attentional deficits in DLB were most pronounced under task conditions that required more active recruitment of executive control and visuospatial cognitive processes.
Attentional deficits in DLB are widespread and encompass all aspects of attentional function. Deficits in higher cortical function influence the degree of attentional impairment and fluctuating attention, suggesting that attentional processing in DLB is mediated by interacting cortical and subcortical mechanisms. These findings serve to clarify the nature of the attentional deficit in DLB and have potentially important ramifications for our understanding of the neurocognitive underpinnings of fluctuations.
PMCID: PMC2077555  PMID: 16772356
10.  Discrimination of dementia with Lewy bodies from Alzheimer’s disease using voxel-based morphometry of white matter by statistical parametric mapping 8 plus diffeomorphic anatomic registration through exponentiated Lie algebra 
Neuroradiology  2013;55(5):559-566.
The purpose of this study was to identify brain atrophy specific for dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and to evaluate the discriminatory performance of this specific atrophy between DLB and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
We retrospectively reviewed 60 DLB and 30 AD patients who had undergone 3D T1-weighted MRI. We randomly divided the DLB patients into two equal groups (A and B). First, we obtained a target volume of interest (VOI) for DLB-specific atrophy using correlation analysis of the percentage rate of significant whole white matter (WM) atrophy calculated using the Voxel-based Specific Regional Analysis System for Alzheimer’s Disease (VSRAD) based on statistical parametric mapping 8 (SPM8) plus diffeomorphic anatomic registration through exponentiated Lie algebra, with segmented WM images in group A. We then evaluated the usefulness of this target VOI for discriminating the remaining 30 DLB patients in group B from the 30 AD patients. Z score values in this target VOI obtained from VSRAD were used as the determinant in receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.
Specific target VOIs for DLB were determined in the right-side dominant dorsal midbrain, right-side dominant dorsal pons, and bilateral cerebellum. ROC analysis revealed that the target VOI limited to the midbrain exhibited the highest area under the ROC curves of 0.75.
DLB patients showed specific atrophy in the midbrain, pons, and cerebellum. Midbrain atrophy demonstrated the highest power for discriminating DLB and AD. This approach may be useful for determining the contributions of DLB and AD pathologies to the dementia syndrome.
PMCID: PMC3659278  PMID: 23322456
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB); Alzheimer’s disease (AD); Statistical parametric mapping (SPM); Voxel-based morphometry (VBM); Voxel-based specific regional analysis system for Alzheimer’s disease (VSRAD)
11.  Structural Alteration of the Dorsal Visual Network in DLB Patients with Visual Hallucinations: A Cortical Thickness MRI Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86624.
Visual hallucinations (VH) represent one of the core features in discriminating dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) from Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Previous studies reported that in DLB patients functional alterations of the parieto-occipital regions were correlated with the presence of VH. The aim of our study was to assess whether morphological changes in specific cortical regions of DLB could be related to the presence and severity of VH. We performed a cortical thickness analysis on magnetic resonance imaging data in a cohort including 18 DLB patients, 15 AD patients and 14 healthy control subjects. Relatively to DLB group, correlation analysis between the cortical thickness and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) hallucination item scores was also performed. Cortical thickness was reduced bilaterally in DLB compared to controls in the pericalcarine and lingual gyri, cuneus, precuneus, superior parietal gyrus. Cortical thinning was found bilaterally in AD compared to controls in temporal cortex including the superior and middle temporal gyrus, part of inferior temporal cortex, temporal pole and insula. Inferior parietal and supramarginal gyri were also affected bilaterally in AD as compared to controls. The comparison between DLB and AD evidenced cortical thinning in DLB group in the right posterior regions including superior parietal gyrus, precuneus, cuneus, pericalcarine and lingual gyri. Furthermore, the correlation analysis between cortical thickness and NPI hallucination item scores showed that the structural alteration in the dorsal visual regions including superior parietal gyrus and precuneus closely correlated with the occurrence and severity of VH. We suggest that structural changes in key regions of the dorsal visual network may play a crucial role in the physiopathology of VH in DLB patients.
PMCID: PMC3900597  PMID: 24466177
12.  Dementia with Lewy bodies: a comparison of clinical diagnosis, FP‐CIT single photon emission computed tomography imaging and autopsy 
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a common form of dementia. The presence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology modifies the clinical features of DLB, making it harder to distinguish DLB from AD clinically during life. Clinical diagnostic criteria for DLB applied at presentation can fail to identify up to 50% of cases. Our aim was to determine, in a series of patients with dementia in whom autopsy confirmation of diagnosis was available, whether functional imaging of the nigrostriatal pathway improves the accuracy of diagnosis compared with diagnosis by means of clinical criteria alone.
A single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan was carried out with a dopaminergic presynaptic ligand [123I]‐2beta‐carbometoxy‐3beta‐(4‐iodophenyl)‐N‐(3‐fluoropropyl) nortropane (FP‐CIT; ioflupane) on a group of patients with a clinical diagnosis of DLB or other dementia. An abnormal scan was defined as one in which right and left posterior putamen binding, measured semiquantitatively, was more than 2 SDs below the mean of the controls.
Over a 10 year period it was possible to collect 20 patients who had been followed from the time of first assessment and time of scan through to death and subsequent detailed neuropathological autopsy. Eight patients fulfilled neuropathological diagnostic criteria for DLB. Nine patients had AD, mostly with coexisting cerebrovascular disease. Three patients had other diagnoses. The sensitivity of an initial clinical diagnosis of DLB was 75% and specificity was 42%. The sensitivity of the FP‐CIT scan for the diagnosis of DLB was 88% and specificity was 100%.
FP‐CIT SPECT scans substantially enhanced the accuracy of diagnosis of DLB by comparison with clinical criteria alone.
PMCID: PMC2117602  PMID: 17353255
13.  Performance on the dementia rating scale in Parkinson's disease with dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies: comparison with progressive supranuclear palsy and Alzheimer's disease 
Background: The relation between dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD) is unknown.
Objectives: To compare the cognitive profiles of patients with DLB and PDD, and compare those with the performance of patients with a subcortical dementia (progressive supranuclear palsy) and a cortical dementia (Alzheimer's disease).
Design: Survey of cognitive features.
Setting: General community in Rogaland county, Norway, and a university dementia and movement disorder research centre in the USA.
Patients: 60 patients with DLB, 35 with PDD, 49 with progressive supranuclear palsy, and 29 with Alzheimer's disease, diagnosed by either standardised clinical procedures and criteria (all PDD and Alzheimer cases and 76% of cases of progressive supranuclear palsy), or necropsy (all DLB cases and 24% of cases of progressive supranuclear palsy). Level of dementia severity was matched using the total score on the dementia rating scale adjusted for age and education.
Main outcome measures: Dementia rating scale subscores corrected for age.
Results: No significant differences between the dementia rating scale subscores in the PDD and DLB groups were found in the severely demented patients; in patients with mild to moderate dementia the conceptualisation subscore was higher in PDD than in DLB (p = 0.03). Compared with Alzheimer's disease, PDD and DLB had higher memory subscores (p < 0.001) but lower initiation and perseveration (p = 0.008 and p=0.021) and construction subscores (p = 0.009 and p = 0.001). DLB patients had a lower conceptualisation subscore (p = 0.004). Compared with progressive supranuclear palsy, PDD and DLB patients had lower memory subscores (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: The cognitive profiles of patients with DLB and PDD were similar, but they differed from those of patients with Alzheimer's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy. The cognitive pattern in DLB and PDD probably reflects the superimposition of subcortical deficits upon deficits typically associated with Alzheimer's disease.
PMCID: PMC1738667  PMID: 12933921
14.  Verbal Learning and Memory in Patients with Dementia with Lewy Bodies or Parkinson's Disease with Dementia 
This study compared verbal learning and memory in patients with autopsy-confirmed dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and patients with Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD). Twenty-four DLB patients, 24 PDD patients, and 24 normal comparison participants were administered the California Verbal Learning Test. The three groups were matched on demographic variables and the two patient groups were matched on the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale. The results indicated that DLB patients recalled less information than PDD patients on all but one recall measure and displayed a more rapid rate of forgetting. In contrast, the PDD patients committed a greater percent of perseveration errors than the DLB patients. The two groups did not differ in the percentage of recall intrusion errors or any measures of recognition. A discriminant function analysis (DFA) using short delay cued recall, percent perseveration errors, and list b recall, differentiated the DLB and PDD groups with 81.3% accuracy. The application of the DFA algorithm to another sample of 42 PDD patients resulted in a 78.6% correct classification rate. The results suggest that, despite equivalent levels of general cognitive impairment, patients with DLB or PDD exhibit a different pattern of verbal learning and memory deficits.
PMCID: PMC2935683  PMID: 19221922
15.  Semantic memory is impaired in both dementia with Lewy bodies and dementia of Alzheimer's type: a comparative neuropsychological study and literature review 
OBJECTIVE—To test the hypothesis that semantic impairment is present in both patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and those with dementia of Alzheimer's type (DAT).
METHODS—A comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tasks designed to assess semantic memory, visuoperceptual function, verbal fluency, and recognition memory was given to groups of patients with DLB (n=10), DAT (n=10) matched pairwise for age and mini mental state examination (MMSE), and age matched normal controls (n=15).
RESULTS—Both DLB and DAT groups exhibited impaired performance across the range of tasks designed to assess semantic memory. Whereas patients with DAT showed equivalent comprehension of written words and picture stimuli, patients with DLB demonstrated more severe semantic deficits for pictures than words. As in previous studies, patients with DLB but not those with DAT were found to have impaired visuoperceptual functioning. Letter and category fluency were equally reduced for the patients with DLB whereas performance on letter fluency was significantly better in the DAT group. Recognition memory for faces and words was impaired in both groups.
CONCLUSIONS—Semantic impairment is not limited to patients with DAT. Patients with DLB exhibit particular problems when required to access meaning from pictures that is most likely to arise from a combination of semantic and visuoperceptual impairments.

PMCID: PMC1737202  PMID: 11160461
16.  Multivariate spatial covariance analysis of 99mTc-exametazime SPECT images in dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease: utility in differential diagnosis 
We examined 99mTc-exametazime brain blood flow single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) images using a spatial covariance analysis (SCA) approach to assess its diagnostic value in distinguishing dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) from Alzheimer's disease (AD). Voxel SCA was simultaneously applied to a set of preprocessed images (AD, n=40; DLB, n=26), generating a series of eigenimages representing common intercorrelated voxels in AD and DLB. Linear regression derived a spatial covariance pattern (SCP) that discriminated DLB from AD. To investigate the diagnostic value of the model SCP, the SCP was validated by applying it to a second, independent, AD and DLB cohort (AD, n=34; DLB, n=29). Mean SCP expressions differed between AD and DLB (F1,64=36.2, P<0.001) with good diagnostic accuracy (receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve area 0.87, sensitivity 81%, specificity 88%). Forward application of the model SCP to the independent cohort revealed similar differences between groups (F1,61=38.4, P<0.001), also with good diagnostic accuracy (ROC 0.86, sensitivity 80%, specificity 80%). Multivariate analysis of blood flow SPECT data appears to be robust and shows good diagnostic accuracy in two independent cohorts for distinguishing DLB from AD.
PMCID: PMC3618400  PMID: 23361395
Alzheimer's disease; differential diagnosis; dementia with Lewy bodies; perfusion; spatial covariance; SPECT
17.  Covariant perfusion patterns provide clues to the origin of cognitive fluctuations and attentional dysfunction in Dementia with Lewy bodies 
International Psychogeriatrics / Ipa  2013;25(12):1917-1928.
Fluctuating cognition (FC), particularly in attention, is a core and defining symptom in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) but is seen much less frequently in Alzheimer's dementia (AD). However, its neurobiological origin is poorly understood. The aim of our study was therefore to characterize perfusion patterns in DLB patients that are associated with the severity and frequency of FC as measured both clinically and using objective neuropsychological assessments.
Spatial covariance analyses were applied to data derived from single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) HMPAO brain imaging in 19 DLB and 23 AD patients. Patients underwent clinical assessment of their FC and cognitive function as well as objective testing of their attention.
Covariant perfusion principal components (PCs) were not associated with either FC or cognitive or attentional measures in AD. However, in DLB patients, the second PC (defined as DLB-cognitive motor pattern, DLB-PCI2) which was characterized by bilateral relative increases in cerebellum, basal ganglia, and supplementary motor areas and widespread bilateral decreases in parietal regions, positively correlated with poorer cognitive function, increased FC and worse attentional function measured both clinically and neurophysiologically (p < 0.05) as well as with the severity of bradykinesia (p = 0.04).
FC in DLB appears distinct from those seen in AD, and likely to be driven by internal neurobiological perturbations in brain circuitry as evidenced using spatial covariance analyses of cerebral perfusion. FC and certain aspects of attentional dysfunction in DLB may, in part, depend upon both distributed motor and non-motor networks.
PMCID: PMC3819183  PMID: 24148774
attention; Alzheimer’s disease; single photon emission computed tomography; SPECT; imaging
18.  Inclusion of RBD improves the diagnostic classification of dementia with Lewy bodies 
Neurology  2011;77(9):875-882.
To determine whether adding REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) to the dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) diagnostic criteria improves classification accuracy of autopsy-confirmed DLB.
We followed 234 consecutive patients with dementia until autopsy with a mean of 4 annual visits. Clinical diagnoses included DLB, Alzheimer disease (AD), corticobasal syndrome, and frontotemporal dementia. Pathologic diagnoses used the 2005 DLB consensus criteria and included no/low likelihood DLB (non-DLB; n = 136) and intermediate/high likelihood DLB (DLB; n = 98). Regression modeling and sensitivity/specificity analyses were used to evaluate the diagnostic role of RBD.
Each of the 3 core features increased the odds of autopsy-confirmed DLB up to 2-fold, and RBD increased the odds by 6-fold. When clinically probable DLB reflected dementia and 2 or more of the 3 core features, sensitivity was 85%, and specificity was 73%. When RBD was added and clinically probable DLB reflected 2 or more of 4 features, sensitivity improved to 88%. When dementia and RBD were also designated as probable DLB, sensitivity increased to 90% while specificity remained at 73%. The VH, parkinsonism, RBD model lowered sensitivity to 83%, but improved specificity to 85%.
Inclusion of RBD as a core clinical feature improves the diagnostic accuracy of autopsy-confirmed DLB.
PMCID: PMC3162640  PMID: 21849645
19.  Dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer disease 
Neurology  2010;74(22):1814-1821.
To identify the patterns of diffusivity changes in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer disease (AD) and to determine whether diffusion tensor MRI (DTI) is complementary to structural MRI in depicting the tissue abnormalities characteristic of DLB and AD.
We studied clinically diagnosed age-, gender-, and education-matched subjects with DLB (n = 30), subjects with AD (n = 30), and cognitively normal (CN) subjects (n = 60) in a case-control study. DTI was performed at 3T with a fluid-attenuated inversion recovery–based DTI sequence that enabled cortical diffusion measurements. Mean diffusivity (MD) and gray matter (GM) density were measured from segmented cortical regions. Tract-based diffusivity was measured using color-coded fractional anisotropy (FA) maps.
Patients with DLB were characterized by elevated MD in the amygdala and decreased FA in the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). ILF diffusivity was associated with the presence of visual hallucinations (p = 0.007), and amygdala diffusivity was associated with Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (r = 0.50; p = 0.005) in DLB. In contrast, patients with AD were characterized by elevated MD in the medial temporal, temporal, and parietal lobe association cortices and decreased FA in the fornix, cingulum, and ILF. Amygdala diffusivity was complementary to GM density in discriminating DLB from CN; hippocampal and parahippocampal diffusivity was complementary to GM density in discriminating AD from CN.
Increased amygdalar diffusivity in the absence of tissue loss in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) may be related to microvacuolation, a common pathology associated with Lewy body disease in the amygdala. Diffusivity measurements were complementary to structural MRI, demonstrating that measures of diffusivity on diffusion tensor MRI are valuable tools for characterizing the tissue abnormalities characteristic of Alzheimer disease and DLB.
= Alzheimer disease;
= cognitively normal;
= dementia with Lewy bodies;
= diffusion tensor MRI;
= fractional anisotropy;
= false discovery rate;
= fluid-attenuated inversion recovery;
= gray matter;
= inferior longitudinal fasciculus;
= Lewy body;
= mean diffusivity;
= REM sleep behavior disorder;
= region of interest;
= superior longitudinal fasciculus;
= echo time;
= inversion time;
= repetition time;
= Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale;
= white matter.
PMCID: PMC2882217  PMID: 20513818
20.  Focal atrophy in Dementia with Lewy Bodies on MRI: a distinct pattern from Alzheimer's disease 
Brain : a journal of neurology  2007;130(Pt 3):708-719.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is the second most common cause of degenerative dementia after Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, unlike in AD the patterns of cerebral atrophy associated with DLB have not been well established. The aim of this study was to identify a signature pattern of cerebral atrophy in DLB and to compare it to the pattern found in AD. Seventy-two patients that fulfilled clinical criteria for probable DLB were age and gender-matched to 72 patients with probable AD and 72 controls. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to assess patterns of grey matter atrophy in the DLB and AD groups, relative to controls, after correction for multiple comparisons (p<0.05). Study specific templates and prior probability maps were used to avoid normalization and segmentation bias. Region-of-interest (ROI) analyses were also performed comparing loss of the midbrain, substantia innominata (SI), temporoparietal cortex and hippocampus between the groups. The DLB group showed very little cortical involvement on VBM with regional grey matter loss observed primarily in the dorsal midbrain, SI and hypothalamus. In comparison, the AD group showed a widespread pattern of grey matter loss involving the temporoparietal association cortices and the medial temporal lobes. The SI and dorsal midbrain were involved in AD however they were not identified as a cluster of loss discrete from uninvolved surrounding areas, as observed in the DLB group. On direct comparison between the two groups, the AD group showed greater loss in the medial temporal lobe and inferior temporal regions than the DLB group. The ROI analysis showed reduced SI and midbrain grey matter in both the AD and DLB groups. The SI grey matter was reduced more in AD than DLB, yet the midbrain was reduced more in DLB than AD. The hippocampus and temporoparietal cortex showed significantly greater loss in the AD group compared to the DLB group. A pattern of relatively focused atrophy of the midbrain, hypothalamus and SI, with a relative sparing of the hippocampus and temporoparietal cortex, is therefore suggestive of DLB and may aid in the differentiation of DLB from AD. These findings support recent pathological studies showing an ascending pattern of Lewy Body progression from brainstem to basal areas of the brain. Damage to this network of structures in DLB may affect a number of different neurotransmitter systems which in turn may contribute to a number of the core clinical features of DLB.
PMCID: PMC2730778  PMID: 17267521
Dementia with Lewy Bodies; Alzheimer's disease; voxel-based morphometry; magnetic resonance imaging; neurotransmitter systems
21.  Neuropathology of Dementia with Lewy Bodies in Advanced Age: a comparison with Alzheimer Disease 
Neuroscience letters  2010;485(3):222-227.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is a common neurodegenerative disorder of the aging population characterized by α–synuclein accumulation in cortical and subcortical regions. Although neuropathology in advanced age has been investigated in dementias such as Alzheimer Disease (AD), severity of the neuropathology in the oldest old with DLB remains uncharacterized. For this purpose we compared characteristics of DLB cases divided into three age groups 70–79, 80–89 and ≥90 years (oldest old). Neuropathological indicators and levels of synaptophysin were assessed and correlated with clinical measurements of cognition and dementia severity. These studies showed that frequency and severity of DLB was lower in 80–89 and ≥90 year cases compared to 70–79 year old group but cognitive impairment did not vary with age. The extent of AD neuropathology correlated with dementia severity only in the 70–79 year group, while synaptophysin immunoreactivity more strongly associated with dementia severity in the older age group in both DLB and AD. Taken together these results suggest that the oldest old with DLB might represent a distinct group.
PMCID: PMC2987680  PMID: 20849919
Cognition; Neuropsychological assessment
22.  Fluctuating cognition in dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease is qualitatively distinct 
Objectives: To document and illustrate qualitative features of fluctuating cognition as described by care givers of patients with probable dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). To determine whether the quality of the fluctuations differs between DLB and AD. To examine the clinical utility of two recently developed rating scales.
Methods: Care givers of 13 patients with early probable DLB and 12 patients with early probable AD were interviewed using the Clinician Assessment of Fluctuation and the One Day Fluctuation Assessment Scale, both developed recently. Descriptions of fluctuating cognition were recorded verbatim, analysed, and rated.
Results: Descriptions of fluctuating cognition in DLB had a spontaneous, periodic, transient quality, which appeared to reflect an interruption in the ongoing flow of awareness or attention that impacted on functional abilities. Descriptions of fluctuations in AD frequently highlighted episodes of memory failure, or a more enduring state shift in the form of "good" and "bad" days, typically occurring in response to the cognitive demands of the immediate environment. These qualitative differences could be detected reliably by independent raters, but were not always captured in standard severity scores.
Conclusion: Fluctuations occuring in DLB have particular characteristics that are distinguishable from fluctuations occurring in AD. Interpretation and application of the fluctuation criterion continues to limit the diagnostic sensitivity of the consensus criteria for DLB. Findings suggest that explicit documentation and a wider appreciation of these distinctions could improve the reliability with which less experienced clinicians identify this core diagnostic feature in the clinical setting.
PMCID: PMC1738966  PMID: 14966152
23.  Visuospatial Deficits Predict Rate of Cognitive Decline in Autopsy-Verified Dementia with Lewy Bodies 
Neuropsychology  2008;22(6):729-737.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is often characterized by pronounced impairment in visuospatial skills, attention, and executive functions. However, the strength of the phenotypic expression of DLB varies and may be weaker in patients with extensive concomitant Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To determine whether strength of the DLB clinical phenotype impacts cognitive decline, visuospatial and language tests were retrospectively used to predict two-year rate of global cognitive decline in 22 autopsy-confirmed DLB patients (21 with concomitant AD) and 44 autopsy-confirmed “pure” AD patients. Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) revealed a significant interaction such that poor baseline performances on tests of visuospatial skills were strongly associated with a rapid rate of cognitive decline in DLB but not AD (p < .001). No effect of confrontation naming was found. DLB patients with poor visuospatial skills had fewer neurofibrillary tangles and were more likely to experience visual hallucinations than those with better visuospatial skills. These results suggest that the severity of visuospatial deficits in DLB may identify those facing a particularly malignant disease course and may designate individuals whose clinical syndrome is impacted more by Lewy body formation than AD pathology.
PMCID: PMC2587484  PMID: 18999346
Dementia with Lewy bodies; cognitive decline; visuospatial skills; Alzheimer’s disease
24.  Perception, attention, and working memory are disproportionately impaired in dementia with Lewy bodies compared with Alzheimer's disease 
OBJECTIVE—To test the hypotheses that visuoperceptual and attentional ability are disproportionately impaired in patients having dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) compared with Alzheimer's disease (AD).
METHODS—A comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tasks designed to assess working, episodic, and semantic memory, and visuoperceptual and attentional functions was given to groups of patients with DLB (n=10) and AD (n=9), matched for age, education, and mini mental state examination (MMSE), and to normal controls (n=17).
RESULTS—Both patient groups performed equally poorly on tests of episodic and semantic memory with the exception of immediate and delayed story recall, which was worse in the AD group. Digit span was by contrast spared in AD. The most striking differences were on tests of visuoperceptual/spatial ability and attention. Whereas patients with AD performed normally on several subtests of the visual object and space perception battery, the DLB group showed substantial impairments. In keeping with previous studies, the AD group showed deficits in selective attention and set shifting, but patients with DLB were more impaired on virtually every test of attention with deficits in sustained, selective, and divided attention.
CONCLUSIONS—Patients with DLB have substantially greater impairment of attention, working memory, and visuoperceptual ability than patients with AD matched for overall dementia severity. Semantic memory seems to be equally affected in DLB and AD, unlike episodic memory, which is worse in AD. These findings may have relevance for our understanding of the genesis of visual hallucinations, and the differential diagnosis of AD and DLB.

PMCID: PMC1737215  PMID: 11160462
25.  Positive FP-CIT SPECT (DaTSCAN) in Clinical Alzheimer's Disease – An Unexpected Finding? 
Clinically, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is by far the most common cause of dementia. Criteria for the diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are highly specific but not at all sensitive, which is reflected by the higher number of DLB cases detected histopathologically at autopsy. Imaging of dopamine transporter with FP-CIT SPECT is one possibility to increase sensitivity. Pathological confirmation was also included in the revised consensus criteria for the diagnosis of DLB. However, in the absence of parkinsonism, one of the core features, a clinical diagnosis of AD is more likely. The role of FP-CIT SPECT in DLB diagnosis remains to be clarified. Based on our 3 case reports and a review of the literature, the utility of this imaging method in the differential diagnosis of AD and DLB is highlighted.
PMCID: PMC3235939  PMID: 22545039
Alzheimer's disease; Dementia; Dopamine; Lewy bodies; FP-CIT SPECT

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