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1.  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
2.  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
3.  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
4.  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
5.  Cohort study of prevalence and phenomenology of tremor in dementia with Lewy bodies 
Journal of Neurology  2013;260(7):1731-1742.
To study prevalence, specific patterns and response to treatment of tremor in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), in comparison with other tremulous disorders prevalence, qualitative and quantitative features of tremor were studied in an incident cohort of 67 dopaminergic treatment naive DLB, 111 Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and 34 Essential Tremor (ET) patients. Tremulous DLB patients (tDLB) were compared with tremulous PD (tPD) and ET patients and followed for 2 years. Double blind placebo-controlled acute drug challenge with l-Dopa and alcohol was performed in all ET, 24 tDLB and 27 tPD. Effects of dopaminergic chronic treatment in all tDLB and tPD patients and primidone in 8 tDLB were also assessed. Tremor occurred in 44.76 % of DLB patients. The tDLB patients presented a complex pattern of mixed tremors, characterized by rest and postural/action tremor, including walking tremor and standing overflow in 50 % tDLB. Standing tremor with overflow was characteristic of tDLB (p < 0.001). Head tremor was more frequent in tDLB than tPD and ET (p = 0.001). The tDLB tremors were reduced by acute and chronic dopaminergic treatments (p < 0.01) but not by alcohol or primidone. Tremor occurs commonly in DLB patients with a complex mixed tremor pattern which shows a significant response to acute and chronic dopaminergic treatments. Recognizing that there is a clinical category of tremulous DLB may help the differential diagnosis of tremors.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00415-013-6853-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3705145  PMID: 23400498
Dementia with Lewy bodies; Parkinson’s disease; Tremor; EMG
6.  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
7.  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
8.  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
9.  Relative preservation of MMSE scores in autopsy-proven dementia with Lewy bodies 
Neurology  2009;73(14):1127-1133.
Recent studies raised questions about the severity of cognitive impairment associated with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). However, there have been few analyses of large, multicenter data registries for clinical–pathologic correlation.
We evaluated data from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center registry (n = 5,813 cases meeting initial inclusion criteria) and the University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center autopsy series (n = 527) to compare quantitatively the severity of cognitive impairment associated with DLB pathology vs Alzheimer disease (AD) and AD+DLB pathologies.
Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores showed that persons with pure DLB had cognitive impairment of relatively moderate severity (final MMSE score 15.6 ± 8.7) compared to patients with pure AD and AD+DLB (final MMSE score 10.7 ± 8.6 and 10.6 ± 8.6). Persons with pure DLB pathology from both data sets had more years of formal education and were more likely to be male. Differences in final MMSE scores were significant (p < 0.01) between pure DLB and both AD+DLB and pure AD even after correction for education level, gender, and MMSE–death interval. Even in cases with extensive neocortical LBs, the degree of cognitive impairment was most strongly related to the amount of concomitant AD-type neurofibrillary pathology.
Dementia with Lewy bodies can constitute a debilitating disease with associated psychiatric, motoric, and autonomic dysfunction. However, neocortical Lewy bodies are not a substrate for severe global cognitive impairment as assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination. Instead, neocortical Lewy bodies appear to constitute or reflect an additive disease process, requiring Alzheimer disease or other concomitant brain diseases to induce severe global cognitive deterioration.
= Alzheimer disease;
= AD Center;
= Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease;
= dementia with Lewy bodies;
= Lewy bodies;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center;
= neurofibrillary;
= National Institute of Aging-Reagan Institute;
= University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center.
PMCID: PMC2764396  PMID: 19805729
10.  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
11.  Imaging amyloid deposition in Lewy body diseases 
Neurology  2008;71(12):903-910.
Extrapyramidal motor symptoms precede dementia in Parkinson disease (PDD) by many years, whereas dementia occurs early in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Despite this clinical distinction, the neuropsychological and neuropathologic features of these conditions overlap. In addition to widespread distribution of Lewy bodies, both diseases have variable burdens of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles characteristic of Alzheimer disease (AD).
To determine whether amyloid deposition, as assessed by PET imaging with the β-amyloid–binding compound Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB), can distinguish DLB from PDD, and to assess whether regional patterns of amyloid deposition correlate with specific motor or cognitive features.
Eight DLB, 7 PDD, 11 Parkinson disease (PD), 15 AD, and 37 normal control (NC) subjects underwent PiB-PET imaging and neuropsychological assessment. Amyloid burden was quantified using the PiB distribution volume ratio.
Cortical amyloid burden was higher in the DLB group than in the PDD group, comparable to the AD group. Amyloid deposition in the PDD group was low, comparable to the PD and NC groups. Relative to global cortical retention, occipital PiB retention was lower in the AD group than in the other groups. For the DLB, PDD, and PD groups, amyloid deposition in the parietal (lateral and precuneus)/posterior cingulate region was related to visuospatial impairment. Striatal PiB retention in the DLB and PDD groups was associated with less impaired motor function.
Global cortical amyloid burden is high in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) but low in Parkinson disease dementia. These data suggest that β-amyloid may contribute selectively to the cognitive impairment of DLB and may contribute to the timing of dementia relative to the motor signs of parkinsonism.
= Automated Anatomic Labeling;
= Alzheimer disease;
= Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center;
= American version of the National Adult Reading Test;
= analysis of covariance;
= Blessed Dementia Scale;
= cerebral amyloid angiopathy;
= Clinical Dementia Rating;
= Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes;
= dementia with Lewy bodies;
= distribution volume ratio;
= Cued Selective Reminding Test;
= Free Selective Reminding Test;
= Hoehn and Yahr;
= Massachusetts General Hospital;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= normal control;
= neurofibrillary tangle;
= Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire;
= not significant;
= Parkinson disease;
= Parkinson disease dementia;
= Pittsburgh Compound B;
= region of interest;
= Statistical Parametric Mapping;
= UK Parkinson’s Disease Society Brain Bank Research Center;
= United Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale;
= Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Revised.
PMCID: PMC2637553  PMID: 18794492
12.  Abnormal daytime sleepiness in dementia with Lewy bodies compared to Alzheimer’s disease using the Multiple Sleep Latency Test 
Excessive daytime sleepiness is a commonly reported problem in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). We examined the relationship between nighttime sleep continuity and the propensity to fall asleep during the day in clinically probable DLB compared to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia.
A full-night polysomnography was carried out in 61 participants with DLB and 26 with AD dementia. Among this group, 32 participants with DLB and 18 with AD dementia underwent a daytime Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT). Neuropathologic examinations of 20 participants with DLB were carried out.
Although nighttime sleep efficiency did not differentiate diagnostic groups, the mean MSLT initial sleep latency was significantly shorter in participants with DLB than in those with AD dementia (mean 6.4 ± 5 minutes vs 11 ± 5 minutes, P <0.01). In the DLB group, 81% fell asleep within 10 minutes compared to 39% of the AD dementia group (P <0.01), and 56% in the DLB group fell asleep within 5 minutes compared to 17% in the AD dementia group (P <0.01). Daytime sleepiness in AD dementia was associated with greater dementia severity, but mean MSLT latency in DLB was not related to dementia severity, sleep efficiency the night before, or to visual hallucinations, fluctuations, parkinsonism or rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. These data suggest that abnormal daytime sleepiness is a unique feature of DLB that does not depend on nighttime sleep fragmentation or the presence of the four cardinal DLB features. Of the 20 DLB participants who underwent autopsy, those with transitional Lewy body disease (brainstem and limbic) did not differ from those with added cortical pathology (diffuse Lewy body disease) in dementia severity, DLB core features or sleep variables.
Daytime sleepiness is more likely to occur in persons with DLB than in those with AD dementia. Daytime sleepiness in DLB may be attributed to disrupted brainstem and limbic sleep–wake physiology, and further work is needed to better understand the underlying mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC4266572  PMID: 25512763
13.  Neuropsychiatric Features of Frontal Lobe Dysfunction in Autopsy-Confirmed Patients with Lewy Bodies and “Pure” Alzheimer’s Disease 
To compare patients with autopsy-confirmed Alzheimer’s disease (AD, #14) and Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) on the frequency of behaviors related to frontal systems dysfunction and the association of these behaviors with dementia severity.
Cross-sectional survey of longitudinal cohort.
University Alzheimer’s disease research center.
Volunteer sample of 19 DLB and 38 AD participants with autopsy-confirmed diagnoses, similar in age (DLB: 77.3, AD: 77.5), education (15.2, 14.7), and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score (20.6, 20.5), with impairment ranging from mild deficits to moderate dementia.
The Frontal Systems Behavior Scale (FrSBe)-Family Rating Form assessing patient apathy, disinhibition, and executive dysfunction by a knowledgeable informant.
A two-way analysis of variance with the FrSBe total as the dependent variable revealed a significant MMSE by diagnosis interaction (F(1,53)=9.34, p=.004). Mean FrSBe total for AD patients showed significant impairment across the range of dementia severity, while it was relatively preserved for DLB patients in early stage of disease. The interaction term showed the same pattern for the executive dysfunction (F(1,53)=7.62, p=.008), disinhibition (F(1,53)=4.90, p=.031), and apathy (F(1,53)=9.77, p=.003) subscales.
While frontal behavioral symptoms in AD patients were present regardless of stage of dementia, DLB patients showed significant frontal dysfunction only in later stages. Results suggest that frontal subcortical circuits associated with behaviors assessed by the FrSBe are affected early in AD but not until later stages in DLB. Assessing specific behaviors related to frontal systems, coupled with stage of cognitive decline, may aid in clinical differentiation of AD and DLB.
PMCID: PMC3664517  PMID: 23567425
Dementia with Lewy bodies; Alzheimer’s disease; Frontal systems; Behavioral symptoms
14.  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
15.  Pentagon copying is more impaired in dementia with Lewy bodies than in Alzheimer's disease 
OBJECTIVES—In many cases the clinical differentiation of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) from those with Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been difficult. Because many neuropsychological studies have reported greater visuospatial/constructional impairment in DLB than in AD, it was determined whether accuracy in copying the interlocking pentagons item on the mini mental state examination (MMSE) may be helpful in distinguishing patients with DLB from those with AD relatively early in the course of the dementia.
METHODS—All cases of neuropathologically proved DLB and AD in the Center for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders brain bank were retrospectively reviewed, and the first available MMSE for each was retrieved. Only patients with MMSE scores⩾13 were included, indicating mild to moderate dementia. The patients' copies of the interlocking pentagons were analyzed and graded as acceptable or unacceptable according to the original instructions for grading the MMSE.
RESULTS—Seventeen patients with DLB and 27 patients with AD were identified for whom MMSE with copies of the interlocking pentagons were available. Two patients with DLB (MMSEs 22 and 27) drew the pentagons acceptably, by contrast with 16 of the patients with AD (MMSEs 13-28). An unacceptable copy was associated with DLB with a sensitivity of 88% and a specificity of 59% (p=0.002).
CONCLUSIONS—For patients with MMSE scores⩾13, an inability to accurately copy the pentagons suggests that the diagnosis is more likely DLB than AD. The results confirm the work of others on visuospatial/constructional impairment in DLB and indicate that this feature may be helpful in its diagnosis.

PMCID: PMC1737321  PMID: 11254771
16.  Demography, diagnostics, and medication in dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease with dementia: data from the Swedish Dementia Quality Registry (SveDem) 
Whether dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s disease with dementia (PDD) should be considered as one entity or two distinct conditions is a matter of controversy. The aim of this study was to compare the characteristics of DLB and PDD patients using data from the Swedish Dementia Quality Registry (SveDem).
SveDem is a national Web-based quality registry initiated to improve the quality of diagnostic workup, treatment, and care of patients with dementia across Sweden. Patients with newly diagnosed dementia of various types were registered in SveDem during the years 2007–2011. The current cross-sectional report is based on DLB (n = 487) and PDD (n = 297) patients. Demographic characteristics, diagnostic workup, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score, and medications were compared between DLB and PDD groups.
No gender differences were observed between the two study groups (P = 0.706). PDD patients were significantly younger than DLB patients at the time of diagnosis (74.8 versus 76.8 years, respectively; P < 0.001). A significantly higher prevalence of patients with MMSE score ≤24 were found in the PDD group (75.2% versus 67.6%; P = 0.030). The mean number of performed diagnostic modalities was significantly higher in the DLB group (4.9 ± 1.7) than in the PDD group (4.1 ± 1.6; P < 0.001). DLB patients were more likely than PDD patients to be treated with cholinesterase inhibitors (odds ratio = 2.5, 95% confidence interval = 1.8–3.5), whereas the use of memantine, antidepressants, and antipsychotics did not differ between the groups.
This study demonstrates several differences in the dementia work-up between DLB and PDD. The onset of dementia was significantly earlier in PDD, while treatment with cholinesterase inhibitors was more common in DLB patients. Severe cognitive impairment (MMSE score ≤24) was more frequent in the PDD group, whereas more diagnostic tests were used to confirm a DLB diagnosis. Some similarities also were found, such as gender distribution and use of memantine, antidepressants, and antipsychotics drugs. Further follow-up cost-effectiveness studies are needed to provide more evidence for workup and treatment guidelines of DLB and PDD.
PMCID: PMC3700781  PMID: 23847419
dementia with Lewy bodies; Parkinson’s disease with dementia; age; diagnostic approach; medication; Mini-Mental State Examination
17.  Clinical features of dementia with lewy bodies in 35 Chinese patients 
To investigate the clinical features of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) in a Chinese population.
Computer-based online searches through China Biology Medicine disc and China National Knowledge Infrastructure were performed to collect case reports of DLB published between 1980 and 2012. Clinical characteristics were analyzed.
A total of 18 studies comprising 35 patients (26 males and 9 females) were included. The mean age at onset was 67.2 ± 9.8 years. Onset was characterized by memory impairment and accounted for 58.8% of all cases, followed by parkinsonism (11.8%), visual hallucinations (8.8%), and compulsive personality disorder (2.9%). The other patients (17.6%) presented two of the three core features of DLB at onset. With disease progression, parkinsonism was reported in 100% of cases, followed by visual hallucinations (97.1%), psychiatric symptoms (85.7%), severe neuroleptic sensitivity (81.8%), fluctuating cognition (68.6%), repeated falls (40.0%), sleep disorders (22.9%), and transient loss of consciousness (17.1%). 26 patients who were subjected to Mini-Mental State Examination scored ≤ 24. 10 patients presented relative preservation of hippocampus and medial temporal lobe structures on CT/MRI scan. Occipital hypometabolism occurred in 2 of 3 patients who underwent SPECT/PET perfusion scan. 12 patients showed an increasing of slow frequency activity on EEG, prominently in frontal and temporal lobes.
DLB often strikes elderly individuals. Its clinical core features are dementia, fluctuating cognition, recurrent visual hallucinations and spontaneous features of parkinsonism. Neuropsychological, neuroimaging and EEG examinations may improve the diagnostic accuracy and discriminate DLB from other dementias.
PMCID: PMC3896842  PMID: 24398160
Dementia with Lewy bodies; Secondary literature evaluation; Clinical features; Neurodegenerative disease
18.  Lewy body cortical involvement may not always predict dementia in Parkinson's disease 
Background: The presence of Lewy bodies (LB) in the neocortex and limbic system in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) is commonly thought to be linked with cognitive impairment. The authors present here a series of patients with diagnosis of PD in life and no significant cognitive impairment who, at necropsy, satisfied the current neuropathological criteria for dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).
Methods: Two hundred and seventy six brains with PD pathology were examined at the Queen Square Brain Bank in London between 1993 and 1999. The neuropathological diagnosis was PD, but 117 patients also had sufficient LB involvement above the brain stem to satisfy the current neuropathological criteria for DLB (50 patients had a neuropathological picture consistent with the limbic category of DLB and 67 with neocortical DLB). Forty eight cases were excluded who developed early cognitive impairment together with motor features of parkinsonism, 12 cases for lack of detailed clinical history, and 19 cases with coexistent features of advanced Alzheimer's disease changes. Thirty eight patients (13.8% of the total with PD pathology and 32.5 % of the total with DLB pathology) were found where there was no or very late cognitive impairment reported in the clinical records.
Results: Selected cases were 24 men and 14 women, with a mean (SD) age at onset of parkinsonian symptoms of 60.1 (10.1) years and a mean disease duration of 15.3 (5.5) years. At some time during the evolution of the disease 21 patients developed different degrees of cognitive impairment (after a mean disease duration of 12.2 (4.8) years). Clinical diagnosis at death was PD in 10 cases and PD with dementia in 11. In the remaining 17 patients no history of cognitive impairment was ever recorded in life and all of them had a clinical diagnosis of PD at death; in this subgroup, nine patients later revealed a neuropathological picture consistent with limbic (or transitional) category of DLB and eight with neocortical DLB. Interestingly, in all these patients the parkinsonian features including the response to dopaminergic drugs were indistinguishable from classic brain stem PD.
Conclusions: The authors demonstrate that the classic pathology of DLB can commonly be seen outside the generally accepted clinical spectrum for DLB and that important factors other than the absolute number of LB in the neocortex and limbic system influence the development of cognitive impairment in PD. Furthermore, the pathology of PD may be indistinguishable from that reported in DLB, suggesting that the two clinicopathological syndromes may be attributable to the same biological abnormality.
PMCID: PMC1738521  PMID: 12810766
19.  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
20.  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
21.  PET imaging of amyloid with Florbetapir F 18 and PET imaging of dopamine degeneration with 18F-AV-133 (florbenazine) in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body disorders 
BMC Neurology  2014;14:79.
Biomarkers based on the underlying pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) have the potential to improve diagnosis and understanding of the substrate for cognitive impairment in these disorders. The objective of this study was to compare the patterns of amyloid and dopamine PET imaging in patients with AD, DLB and Parkinson’s disease (PD) using the amyloid imaging agent florbetapir F 18 and 18F-AV-133 (florbenazine), a marker for vesicular monamine type 2 transporters (VMAT2).
Patients with DLB and AD, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and healthy controls (HC) were recruited for this study. On separate days, subjects received intravenous injections of florbetapir, and florbenazine. Amyloid burden and VMAT2 density were assessed quantitatively and by binary clinical interpretation. Imaging results for both tracers were compared across the four individual diagnostic groups and for combined groups based on underlying pathology (AD/DLB vs. PD/HC for amyloid burden and PD/DLB vs. AD/HC for VMAT binding) and correlated with measures of cognition and parkinsonism.
11 DLB, 10 AD, 5 PD, and 5 controls participated in the study. Amyloid binding was significantly higher in the combined AD/DLB patient group (n = 21) compared to the PD/HC groups (n = 10, mean SUVr: 1.42 vs. 1.07; p = 0.0006). VMAT2 density was significantly lower in the PD/DLB group (n = 16) compared to the AD/ HC group (n = 15; 1.83 vs. 2.97; p < 0.0001). Within the DLB group, there was a significant correlation between cognitive performance and striatal florbenazine binding (r = 0.73; p = 0.011).
The results of this study show significant differences in both florbetapir and florbenazine imaging that are consistent with expected pathology. In addition, VMAT density correlated significantly with cognitive impairment in DLB patients ( identifier: NCT00857506, registered March 5, 2009).
PMCID: PMC4027995  PMID: 24716655
PET imaging; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; Biomarkers
22.  Preclinical Polymodal Hallucinations for 13 Years before Dementia with Lewy Bodies 
Behavioural Neurology  2014;2014:694296.
Objective. We describe a case of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) that presented long-lasting preclinical complex polymodal hallucinations. Background. Few studies have deeply investigated the characteristics of hallucinations in DLB, especially in the preclinical phase. Moreover, the clinical phenotype of mild cognitive impairment-(MCI-) DLB is poorly understood. Methods. The patient was followed for 4 years and a selective phenomenological and cognitive study was performed at the predementia stage. Results. The phenomenological study showed the presence of hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations that allowed us to make a differential diagnosis between DLB and Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS). The neuropsychological evaluation showed a multiple domain without amnesia MCI subtype with prefrontal dysexecutive, visuoperceptual, and visuospatial impairments and simultanagnosia, which has not previously been reported in MCI-DLB. Conclusions. This study extends the prognostic value of hallucinations for DLB to the preclinical phases. It supports and refines the MCI-DLB concept and identifies simultanagnosia as a possible early cognitive marker. Finally, it confirms an association between hallucinations and visuoperceptual impairments at an intermediate stage of the disease course and strongly supports the hypothesis that hallucinations in the earliest stages of DLB may reflect a narcolepsy-like REM-sleep disorder.
PMCID: PMC4020531  PMID: 24868122
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
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer disease (AD). DLB is characterized pathologically by Lewy body and Lewy neuritic pathology, often with variable levels of Alzheimer-type pathology. Core clinical features include fluctuating cognition, visual hallucinations, and parkinsonism resulting in greater impairments of quality of life, more caregiver burden, and higher health-related costs compared with AD. These issues, together with a high sensitivity to adverse events with treatment with antipsychotic agents, make the need for an early and accurate diagnosis of DLB essential. Unfortunately, current consensus criteria are highly specific but lack sufficient sensitivity. Use of composite risk scores may improve accuracy of clinical diagnosis. Imaging findings, particularly targeting dopaminergic systems have shown promise as potential markers to differentiate DLB from AD. A combination of non-pharmacologic treatments and pharmacotherapy interventions may maximize cognitive function and overall quality of life in DLB patients.
PMCID: PMC4219734  PMID: 25379359
Dementia with Lewy bodies; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; Lewy bodies; Risk Scores; Aging; Neuropathology; Neuroimaging; Biomarkers; Genetics; Therapeutics
25.  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

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