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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.  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
3.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  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
7.  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
8.  The New Qualitative Scoring MMSE Pentagon Test (QSPT) as a Valid Screening Tool between Autopsy-Confirmed Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Alzheimer's Disease 
Visual-constructional apraxia is a prominent feature of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) that might help to clinically distinguish it from Alzheimer's disease (AD). The main goal of this study was to assess performance on the copy intersecting-pentagon item of the Mini-Mental State Examination with the new Qualitative Scoring method for the Pentagon copy Test (QSPT). In order to determine which aspects of the drawings might differentiate DLB from AD, pentagon drawings of autopsy-verified DLB (n = 16) and AD (n = 15) patients were assessed using the QSPT. The qualitative scoring encompasses the assessment of different parameters of the drawing, such as number of angles, distance/intersection, closure/opening, rotation, and closing-in. The QSPT scores were compared between groups using linear analyses and artificial neural network analyses at four different time points. Linear analyses showed that during the first evaluation, number of angles was the only parameter that showed a significant difference between DLB and AD patients. A gradual decline in other parameters and total pentagon score occurred in both groups during subsequent years, with greater decline for the DLB group. The artificial neural network analyses using auto-contractive maps showed that, with disease progression, DLB became related to relatively lower qualitative pentagon scores, whereas AD became related to relatively higher qualitative scores. These findings suggest that the QSPT might be a sensitive measure of visuo-constructive abilities able to differentiate DLB from AD at disease onset and as the diseases progress, but further studies on larger population are necessary in order to establish its clinical relevance.
PMCID: PMC4346244  PMID: 24284368
Alzheimer's disease; autopsy-confirmed; copy of pentagons; dementia with Lewy bodies
9.  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
10.  Neuroimaging characteristics of dementia with Lewy bodies 
This review summarises the findings and applications from neuroimaging studies in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), highlighting key differences between DLB and other subtypes of dementia. We also discuss the increasingly important role of imaging biomarkers in differential diagnosis and outline promising areas for future research in DLB. DLB shares common clinical, neuropsychological and pathological features with Parkinson’s disease dementia and other dementia subtypes, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Despite the development of consensus diagnostic criteria, the sensitivity for differential diagnosis of DLB in clinical practice remains low and many DLB patients will be misdiagnosed. The importance of developing accurate imaging markers in dementia is highlighted by the potential for treatments targeting specific molecular abnormalities as well as the responsiveness to cholinesterase inhibitors and marked neuroleptic sensitivity of DLB. We review various brain imaging techniques that have been applied to investigate DLB, including the characteristic nigrostriatal degeneration in DLB using positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) tracers. Dopamine transporter loss has proven to reliably differentiate DLB from other dementias and has been incorporated into the revised clinical diagnostic criteria for DLB. To date, this remains the 'gold standard' for diagnostic imaging of DLB. Regional cerebral blood flow, 18 F-fluorodeoxygluclose-PET and SPECT have also identified marked deficits in the occipital regions with relative sparing of the medial temporal lobe when compared to Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, structural, diffusion, and functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques have shown alterations in structure, white matter integrity, and functional activity in DLB. We argue that the multimodal identification of DLB-specific biomarkers has the potential to improve ante-mortem diagnosis and contribute to our understanding of the pathological background of DLB and its progression.
PMCID: PMC4055038  PMID: 25031634
11.  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
12.  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
13.  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
14.  Quantitative electroencephalogram utility in predicting conversion of mild cognitive impairment to dementia with Lewy bodies☆ 
Neurobiology of Aging  2015;36(1):434-445.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as a precursor of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the focus of recent research, trying to explore the early mechanisms and possible biomarkers of DLB. Quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG) methods are able to differentiate early DLB from Alzheimer's disease (AD). The aim of the present study was to assess whether QEEG abnormalities, characterized by dominant frequency <8 Hz and dominant frequency variability >1.5 Hz, typical of early DLB, are already present at the stage of MCI and to evaluate whether EEG abnormalities can predict the development of DLB. Forty-seven MCI subjects were followed for 3 years. EEG recordings were obtained at admission and at the end of the study. At the end of follow-up, 20 subjects had developed probable DLB (MCI-DLB), 14 had probable AD (MCI-AD), 8 did not convert to dementia, 5 developed a non-AD/DLB dementia. One hundred percent of MCI-DLB showed EEG abnormalities at admission. Ninety three percent of MCI-AD maintained a normal EEG throughout the study. QEEG may represent a powerful tool to predict the progression from MCI to DLB with a sensitivity and specificity close to 100%.
•We studied in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subjects the predictive value of electroencephalogram (EEG) alterations for the development of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).•One hundred percent of MCI subjects converted to DLB already had EEG alterations typical of DLB (dominant frequency <8 Hz and dominant frequency variability ≥1.5 Hz) at admission to the study.•Quantitative EEG may represent a powerful tool to predict the progression from MCI to DLB.
PMCID: PMC4270449  PMID: 25129239
Mild cognitive impairment; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Quantitative EEG
15.  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
16.  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
17.  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
18.  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
19.  The clinical characteristics of dementia with Lewy bodies and a consideration of prodromal diagnosis 
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the second most common type of degenerative dementia following Alzheimer’s disease (AD). DLB is clinically and pathologically related to Parkinson's disease (PD) and PD dementia, and the three disorders can be viewed as existing on a spectrum of Lewy body disease. In recent years there has been a concerted effort to establish the phenotypes of AD and PD in the prodromal phase (before the respective syndromes of cognitive and motor impairment are expressed). Evidence for the prodromal presentation of DLB is also emerging. This paper briefly reviews what is known about the clinical presentation of prodromal DLB before discussing the pathology of Lewy body disease and how this relates to potential biomarkers of prodromal DLB. The presenting features of DLB can be broadly placed in three categories: cognitive impairment (particularly nonamnestic cognitive impairments), behavioural/psychiatric phenomena (for example, hallucinations, rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD)) and physical symptoms (for example, parkinsonism, decreased sense of smell, autonomic dysfunction). Some noncognitive symptoms such as constipation, RBD, hyposmia and postural dizziness can predate the onset of memory impairment by several years in DLB. Pathological studies of Lewy body disease have found that the earliest sites of involvement are the olfactory bulb, the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagal nerve, the peripheral autonomic nervous system, including the enteric nervous system, and the brainstem. Some of the most promising early markers for DLB include the presence of RBD, autonomic dysfunction or hyposmia, 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine cardiac scintigraphy, measures of substantia nigra pathology and skin biopsy for α-synuclein in peripheral autonomic nerves. In the absence of disease-modifying therapies, the diagnosis of prodromal DLB is of limited use in the clinic. That said, knowledge of the prodromal development of DLB could help clinicians identify cases of DLB where the diagnosis is uncertain. Prodromal diagnosis is of great importance in research, where identifying Lewy body disease at an earlier stage may allow researchers to investigate the initial phases of dementia pathophysiology, develop treatments designed to interrupt the development of the dementia syndrome and accurately identify the patients most likely to benefit from these treatments.
PMCID: PMC4255387  PMID: 25484925
20.  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
21.  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
22.  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
23.  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
24.  Dementia with Lewy bodies versus nonconvulsive status epilepticus in the diagnosis of a patient with cognitive dysfunction, complex visual hallucinations and periodic abnormal waves in EEG: a case report 
BMC Neurology  2014;14:112.
The diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is often challenging in elderly individuals, not only for its various clinical features, sometimes, but also for its rare changes of periodic synchronous discharges (PSD) in electroencephalogram ( EEG). So, we reported one case of DLB and gave a detailed analysis.
Case presentation
A Chinese patient (Female, 56 years old) presented with progressive cognitive decline and complex visual hallucinations. Several days after admission, she gradually showed focal myoclonic jerks. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score was 19/30, EEG revealed PSD, Cerebrospinal fluid and 14-3-3 brain protein was negative, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed diffuse atrophy. To differentiate the PSD derived from DLB or from late-onset Absence Status Epilepticus, we have given the treatment with intravenous valproate (1200 mg/24 h) and diazepam 20 mg under the EEG monitor, a clinical improvement was absent and PSD in EEG did not disappear. Two weeks later, the patient showed akinetic-rigid syndrome and PSD in EEG persisted for a long time. According to her history and therapy, a clinical diagnosis of DLB has been made, but no autopsy for confirmation, and in the following visit, she has a poor prognosis.
PSD in EEG may occasionally be recorded in neurodegenerative disorders such as AD, DLB other than CJD or NCSE. Hence it should not dissuade clinicians from the diagnosis of DLB where the clinical and neuropsychological findings were consistent with suggested diagnostic criteria for DLB.
PMCID: PMC4060871  PMID: 24884409
Visual hallucinations; Periodic synchronous discharges (PSD); Nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE); Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)
25.  Comorbidity profile in dementia with Lewy bodies versus Alzheimer’s disease: a linkage study between the Swedish Dementia Registry and the Swedish National Patient Registry 
Compared to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is usually associated with a more complex clinical picture and higher burden of care. Yet, few investigations have been performed on comorbidities and risk factors of DLB. Therefore, we aimed to compare clinical risk factors and comorbidity profile in DLB and AD patients using two nationwide registries.
This is a linkage study between the Swedish dementia registry (SveDem) and the Swedish National Patient Registry conducted on 634 subjects with DLB and 9161 individuals with AD registered during the years 2007–2012. Comorbidity profile has been coded according to the International Classification of Diseases version 10 (ICD 10) in addition to the date of each event. The main chapters of the ICD-10, the Charlson score of comorbidities and a selected number of neuropsychiatric diseases were compared between the DLB and AD groups. Comorbidity was registered before and after the dementia diagnosis.
“Mental and behavioral disorders”, “diseases of the nervous system”, “diseases of the eye and adnexa”, diseases of the “circulatory”, “respiratory”, and “genitourinary” systems, “diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue” and “diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue” occurred more frequently in the DLB group after multivariate adjustment. Depression [adjusted OR = 2.12 (95%CI 1.49 to 3.03)] and migraine [adjusted OR = 3.65 (95%CI 1.48 to 9.0)] were more commonly recorded before the diagnosis of dementia in the DLB group. Following dementia diagnosis, ischemic stroke [adjusted OR = 1.89 (95%CI 1.21 to 2.96)] was more likely to happen among the DLB patients compared to the AD population.
Our study indicated a worse comorbidity profile in DLB patients with higher occurrence of depression, stroke and migraine compared with the AD group. Deeper knowledge about the underlying mechanisms of these associations is needed to explore possible reasons for the different pattern of comorbidity profile in DLB compared to AD and their prognostic significance.
PMCID: PMC4255539  PMID: 25478027

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