What's the Difference Between Alzheimer's and Lewy Body Dementia? (2022)

Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia are two types of dementia. There are several similarities but also some clear differences between the two progressive neurological (nervous system-related) disorders.

This article takes a look at how Lewy body dementia differs from Alzheimer's disease. It also compares the causes, symptoms, and prognosis (expected outcome) for each of the conditions and outlines the different risk factors and treatments.

What's the Difference Between Alzheimer's and Lewy Body Dementia? (1)

Lewy Body Dementia vs. Alzheimer's Disease

Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's disease are similar but not the same. This starts with how the features of dementia differ for each disorder:

  • Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a form of dementia with characteristics of Parkinson's disease that affects executive function (problem-solving), speed of thinking, memory, movement, and moods. LBD can cause visual hallucinations, problems with attention and alertness, and movement problems such as tremors and stiffness.
  • Alzheimer's disease is the more common form of dementia that primarily affects language, behavior, and memory. It mainly manifests with profound memory loss, such as trouble recalling events, recognizing people, naming objects, or learning new information.

LBD and Alzheimer's disease can appear similar in the early stages, and it is not uncommon for someone with LBD to be mistakenly diagnosed with Alzheimer's at first.

The underlying causes of Alzheimer's and LBD can and often do overlap. As a result, a person with LBD might experience Alzheimer-type changes in their brain, resulting in shared characteristics and symptoms referred to as mixed dementia.

The main differences between LBD and Alzheimer's can be summarized in the following chart:

Lewy Body DementiaAlzheimer's Disease
AgeSymptoms typically appear around age 50 but can start earlier.Symptoms typically appear in the mid-60s but can appear earlier.
Prevalence1.4 million people (U.S.)5.8 million people (U.S.)
CausesLBD is caused by abnormal deposits of proteins called Lewy bodies in the brain. These proteins are also associated with Parkinson's disease dementia.Alzheimer's is caused by the abnormal buildup of proteins called amyloid in the brain and the abnormal formation of a protein called tau that blocks nerve signals.
Risk factorsFamily history and a history of anxiety and depression are known risk factors.Family history, traumatic brain injury, and being Black or Latin are known risk factors.
SymptomsLBD can affect sleep, behavior, perception, mood, alertness, awareness, problem-solving, and movement. Hallucinations are common. Memory loss may occur in the later stages.Alzheimer's causes the progressive loss of memory, awareness, and language. Hallucinations may occur in the later stages. Memory loss is typically an early feature.
TreatmentThere is no cure for LBD. Some symptoms can be managed with targeted treatments.There is no cure, but certain medications and targeted treatments can slow the cognitive decline.
PrognosisSurvival time is between three and five years after symptoms appear.Survival time ranges from four to 10 years after symptoms appear.

Prevalence

Lewy body dementia is the second most common type of dementia, with an estimated 1.4 million living with LBD in the United States. It is thought to be slightly more common in males than females. Because LBD is thought to be underdiagnosed, the actual number of people with the disease may be higher.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. As many as 5.8 million people in the United States are living with this progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Females are more affected than males but tend to live longer. Around 5% of adults ages 60 to 74 have Alzheimer's increasing to 14% in those 75 to 84.

How Common Is Vascular Dementia?

Causes of Lewy Body Dementia vs. Alzheimer's

Lewy body dementia is caused by the abnormal buildup of proteins, called Lewy bodies, in the brain. When clumps of these proteins accumulate, nerves in the brain start to lose their function and eventually die. The damage in the brain is widespread and affects many domains of thinking and functioning.

Alzheimer's is caused by the abnormal buildup of proteins called amyloid that leads to the formation of plaques in the brain. The abnormal twisting of another protein called tau causes neurofibrillary tangles that block signals between nerve cells. Over time, the progressive damage will kill the cells.

The Effects of Alzheimer's on the Brain

Risk Factors

LBD and Alzheimer's share many of the same risk factors but have some of their own as well. While less is known about LBD, there are five risk factors noted in a 2013 study published in Neurology.

Lewy Body Dementia

  • Older age (slightly younger than Alzheimer's)

  • Male sex (slightly more than females)

  • Family history of LBD or Parkinson's disease

  • Genetics (including the SNCA and SNCB gene mutations)

  • History of anxiety or depression

    (Video) Types of Dementia (Alzheimer, Frontotemporal, Lewy Body, and Jakob)

Alzheimer Disease

  • Older age (slightly older than LBD)

  • Female sex (slightly more than males)

  • Family history of Alzheimer's disease

  • Genetics (including the APOE gene mutation)

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Being Black or Latinx

Symptoms

Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's disease have both similarities and differences in their symptoms. Here is how the two compare:

Loss of Cognition and Memory

Cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. With both LBD and Alzheimer's, cognition is affected but in significantly different ways.

With LBD, the loss of cognition and memory can fluctuate. On one day, a person will LBD will not recognize a grandchild but, on the next, be able to recall the names of each of their grandchildren.

With Alzheimer's, there may be variations, but the decline is generally steady, and there is not usually a big change from one day to the next. Over time, the gaps in lucidity become smaller and smaller.

Physical Movement

One of the early symptoms of LBD is difficulty walking and decreased balance and ability to control movements. These symptoms are similar to Parkinson’s disease. Frequent falling is also common early in the disease.

With Alzheimer's, physical deterioration usually does not occur until the disease is advanced. With that said, because Alzheimer's typically affects older people, falling can occur due to frailty and the loss of orientation.

Some people with LBD display a flat affect, wherein their faces show very little emotion. This is another symptom present early in LBD and overlaps with Parkinson’s. While facial expressions often decrease with Alzheimer's, this usually doesn’t until the later stages.

Are LBD and Parkinson's the Same?

Some researchers contend that Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia are part of a larger spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders known as Lewy body disease (LBD).

How Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia Differ

Sleep Disturbances and Visual Hallucinations

People with LBD sometimes experience a condition known as REM sleep behavior disorder in which they will physically act out situations in their dreams.Some research suggests that REM sleep behavior disorder is an earlier predictor of LBD.

Another common LBD symptom is visual hallucinations, wherein people will see things that aren’t there. These hallucinations typically occur earlier in the course of LBD.

Hallucinations do occur with Alzheimer’s but are not as common. They also tend to occur in the later stages of the disease.

Similarly, REM sleep behavior disorder is not characteristic of Alzheimer's, although other types of sleep disturbances can occur.

Sensitivity to Antipsychotics

People with LBD have a high risk of serious side effects from antipsychotic medications. These are sometimes used as a last resort for people with behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer's. Doing so with LBD can lead to a potentially life-threatening condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).

Symptoms of NMS include:

(Video) Lewy Body Dementia Versus Alzheimer's | Brain Talks | Being Patient

  • High fever
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Changes in mental state
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Swings in blood pressure

By contrast, people with Alzheimer's have only a small risk of developing NSM.

Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia You May Miss

Treatment

Where LBD and Alzheimer's vary significantly is in the ways they are treated. While some drugs, like cholinesterase inhibitors, can be used for both disorders, there are others that have proven to slow progression with Alzheimer's only.

Lewy Body Dementia

There is no cure for LBD. Some symptoms can be managed with a treatment plan that may include medications, physical therapy, and counseling. The plan may also involve improving home safety and the everyday quality of life.

A combination of drugs called carbidopa-levodopa may be prescribed to improve LBD-related mobility problems, although they will not reverse symptoms.

Klonopin (clonazepam) may be prescribed to reduce symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder, while melatonin can be taken to reduce insomnia.

Cholinesterase inhibitors are a class of drugs that may help treat some of the cognitive and behavioral symptoms of LBD and Alzheimer's, including impaired memory and awareness. Options include Razadyne (galantamine), Exelon (rivastigmine), and Aricept (donepezil).

Alzheimer's Disease

In addition to cholinesterase inhibitors, another class of drugs called N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonists may be prescribed to help slow the progression of Alzheimer's. This includes the drug Namenda (memantine).

In 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the immunotherapy medication Aduhelm (aducanumab) that can help treat cognitive symptoms by reducing amyloid plaques. The drug is administered intravenously (into a vein) over the course of one hour, every four weeks.

People with Alzheimer's can also benefit from physical therapy to help them stay mobile and improve their ability to perform daily tasks for as long as possible.

Prognosis

By and large, the prognosis of LBD is less favorable than Alzheimer's.

According to a 2019 study in PLoS One, the median life expectancy of people with LBD is between three and five years after the appearance of symptoms. This is far less than expected in people with Parkinson's, although outcomes can vary. Death is often the result of respiratory failure due to damage to the part of the brain that regulates breathing.

By contrast, people with Alzheimer's survive for between four and 10 years after they are diagnosed. Improved Alzheimer's treatments account for part of the disparity, but it is likely that LBD is simply a more aggressive disorder. The main cause of death from Alzheimer's is secondary infections like pneumonia.

Prognosis of 13 Types of Dementia

Summary

Lewy body dementia (LBD) and Alzheimer's disease are the two most common forms of dementia that differ in a number of key ways. Both are linked to the abnormal buildup of proteins in the brains, but those involved with LBD are Lewy bodies and those involved with Alzheimer's are amyloids.

LBD also tends to progress faster and affects many different mental and physical domains, including thought, behavior, alertness, awareness, sleep, moods, and movement. Alzheimer's progresses somewhat slower and mainly affects memory, behavior, awareness, and language.

Because the causes and risk factors differ, the treatment of LBD and Alzheimer's also vary. Even so, LBD is frequently mistaken for Alzheimer's and, as such may be treated inappropriately.

A Word From Verywell

Understanding the differences between Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's disease can help you distinguish between the two and elaborate on symptoms you or a loved one may be experiencing. In this way, you can be better ensured of an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

You can also help friends and family understand how Lewy body dementia is similar to—and different from—Alzheimer's disease. In this way, they can get a better grasp of the diagnosis and what to expect as caregivers.

8 Tips on Coping With Lewy Body Dementia

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Lewy body dementia worse than Alzheimer's?

    Lewy body dementia progresses faster and comes with a shorter life expectancy compared to Alzheimer's disease. Studies also show that Lewy body dementia leads to a lower quality of life compared to Alzheimer's, which includes a lower level of independence as well as other physical, mental, and social factors.

  • Can you have both Alzheimer's and Lewy body dementia?

    There can and often is some overlap between Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's disease. This can be referred to as "mixed dementia" or Alzheimer's with Lewy bodies.

  • Does Lewy body dementia progress faster than Alzheimer's?

    People with Lewy body dementia have a shorter life expectancy compared to people with Alzheimer's disease. Lewy body dementia progresses more rapidly, in part because LBD-related mobility problems increase the risk of falls and hospitalization.

(Video) What's the Difference Between Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia?

16 Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. National Institute on Aging. What is Lewy body dementia? Causes, symptoms, and treatments.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

  3. National Institutes of Health. Genetic study of Lewy body dementia supports ties to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

  4. Peraza L, Cromarty R, Kobeleva X. Electroencephalographic derived network differences in Lewy body dementia compared to Alzheimer's disease patients. Nature. 2018;8(1):4637. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-22984-5

  5. Kane JPM, Surendranathan A, Bentley A, et al. Clinical prevalence of Lewy body dementia.Alzheimers Res Ther. 2018;10(1):19. doi:10.1186/s13195-018-0350-6.

    (Video) What is dementia with Lewy bodies?

  6. Boot BP, Orr CF, Ahlskog JE, et al. Risk factors for dementia with Lewy bodies: a case-control study. Neurology.2013 Aug 27;81(9):833–40. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a2cbd1

  7. Ulep M, Saraon S, McLea S.Alzheimer disease.J Nurse Practioner. 2018;14(3):129-35. doi:10.1016/j.nurpra.2017.10.014

  8. Jellinger KA, Korczyn AD. Are dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia the same disease? BMC Med.2018;16:34. doi:10.1186/s12916-018-1016-8

  9. Fernández-Arcos A, Morenas-Rodríguez E, Santamaria J, et al. Clinical and video-polysomnographic analysis of rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder and other sleep disturbances in dementia with Lewy bodies. Sleep. 2019;42(7). doi:10.1093/sleep/zsz086

  10. Lee CY, Cheng SJ, Lin HC, Liao YL, Chen PH. Quality of life in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies. Behav Neurol. 2018 Jul;2018(1):1-7. doi:10.1155/2018/8320901

  11. Sinclair LI, Kumar A, Darreh-Shori T, Love S. Visual hallucinations in Alzheimer's disease do not seem to be associated with chronic hypoperfusion of to visual processing areas V2 and V3 but may be associated with reduced cholinergic input to these areas. Alzheimers Res Ther. 2019;11(1):80. doi:10.1186/s13195-019-0519-7

  12. Lewy Body Dementia Association. Treatment of Lewy body dementia.

  13. Feng Y, Yang X, Huang Y. Two cases of neuroleptic malignant syndrome in elderly patients taking atypical antipsychotics. Shanghai Arch Psychiatry.2013 Jun;25(3):178–82. doi:10.3969/j.issn.1002-0829.2013.03.009

  14. National Institute on Aging. How is Alzheimer's disease treated?.

  15. Armstrong MJ, Alliance S, Taylor A, Corsentino, Galvin JE. End-of-life experiences in dementia with Lewy bodies: qualitative interviews with former caregivers. PLoS One.2019;14(5):e0217039. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0217039

  16. Tom SE, Hubbard RA, Crane PK, et al. Characterization of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in an older population: updated incidence and life expectancy with and without dementia. Am J Public Health.2015 February;105(2):408–13. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.301935

See Our Editorial Process

Meet Our Medical Expert Board

Share Feedback

Was this page helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

(Video) The differentiation between Lewy body and Parkinson's disease dementia

What is your feedback?

FAQs

What is the difference between Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's? ›

Alzheimer's affects the brain's ability to store new information in the form of memories, while Lewy body dementia targets a different set of cognitive functions - specifically problem-solving and reasoning. Hallucinations occur early in Lewy body dementia but only after about four years in Alzheimer's disease.

Does Lewy body dementia progress faster than Alzheimer's? ›

Unlike Alzheimer's disease, which tends to progress gradually, this disease often starts rapidly, with a fast decline in the first few months. Later, there may be some leveling off but Lewy body dementia typically progresses faster than Alzheimer's. A patient can survive from five to seven years with the disease.

Is Lewy body dementia always fatal? ›

Is Lewy body dementia fatal? A. Despite the benefits offered by available treatments, there is deterioration in cognitive and motor function over time. Like Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body dementia is a progressive disease with average survival after diagnosis of about eight years.

Is Lewy bodies worse than Alzheimer's? ›

My mother's greatest fear was Alzheimer's. She got Lewy body dementia, or LBD, instead. This little known, oddly named, debilitating illness afflicts an estimated 1.3 million Americans, the actor and comedian Robin Williams possibly among them.

What causes death in Lewy body dementia? ›

Failure to thrive is the most common cause of death in DLB (65%), followed by pneumonia/swallowing difficulties (23%) [5].

What is life expectancy of someone with Lewy body dementia? ›

The life expectancy of individuals with dementia with Lewy bodies varies; people typically survive about 5 to 7 years after they are diagnosed. REM sleep behavior disorder may be the first sign of dementia with Lewy bodies. It can occur years before other symptoms appear.

Do Lewy body patients sleep a lot? ›

People who have dementia caused by Lewy body disease, such as Parkinsons' disease (PD) or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are often sleepy by day but have very restless and disturbed nights. They can suffer from confusion, nightmares and hallucinations.

What drugs should be avoided with Lewy body dementia? ›

Patients who have dementia with Lewy bodies should not be given the older, typical D2-antagonist antipsychotic agents such as haloperidol (Haldol), fluphenazine (Prolixin), and chlorpromazine (Thorazine). Patient records should document this and caregivers should be informed.

What is the test for Lewy body dementia? ›

There are no tests that can definitively diagnose LBD. Currently, only a brain autopsy after death can confirm a suspected diagnosis.

What is the best medication for Lewy body dementia? ›

Medications. Cholinesterase inhibitors. These Alzheimer's disease medications, such as rivastigmine (Exelon), donepezil (Aricept) and galantamine (Razadyne), work by increasing the levels of chemical messengers in the brain (neurotransmitters) believed to be important for memory, thought and judgment.

What happens at the end of Lewy body dementia? ›

Like others with LBD, muscle weakness may affect his swallowing ability. This can lead to aspirating food or liquid, resulting in pneumonia, a common cause of death in advanced dementia. Even without problems with aspiration, he'd probably succumb to pneumonia or heart failure after months of being bedridden.

Can you reverse Lewy body dementia? ›

There's no cure for Lewy body dementia (LBD). Medications and nonmedical therapies, like physical, occupational and speech therapies, manage symptoms as much as possible.

Is Lewy body dementia worse than dementia? ›

Patients with dementia with Lewy bodies report worse physical and mental health and greater disability than do patients with Alzheimer's disease or Huntington's disease.

Is Lewy body dementia painful? ›

Many, if not most, people with Lewy Body Dementia have Parkinsonism mobility issues. Pain, of an often inexplicable source is very common, and has often been believed to be related to lack of mobility from the condition.

Can Lewy body dementia go into remission? ›

Remission to near-normal cognitive function can occur spontaneously in the absence of clear environmental triggers suggesting that fluctuating cognition in Lewy body dementia is internally driven and that dynamic changes in brain activity play a role in its aetiology (Ballard et al., 2001; Sourty et al., 2016).

What are the first signs of Lewy body? ›

People with Lewy body dementia might have visual hallucinations and changes in alertness and attention. Other effects include Parkinson's disease signs and symptoms such as rigid muscles, slow movement, walking difficulty and tremors.

What disorder is most often misdiagnosed as dementia? ›

Depression. The symptoms of depression are often mistaken for dementia. It is not easy to define the symptoms because many people with dementia develop signs of depression, such as feelings of low self-esteem and confidence, tearfulness and appetite, concentration and memory problems.

Can Lewy bodies be seen on MRI? ›

Imaging techniques like computerized tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans have been around for many years and have been vital tools in diagnosing a very wide variety of diseases. While neither is diagnostic of Lewy body dementia (LBD), they can assist the physician in diagnosis.

How does Lewy body dementia start? ›

Dementia with Lewy bodies often starts when you have a hard time moving your body. Within a year, you start to have thinking and memory problems that are similar to Alzheimer's disease, along with changes in behavior. You also might see things that aren't there, called hallucinations.

Why do Lewy body dementia patients sleep so much? ›

Daytime sleepiness in dementia with Lewy bodies is associated with neuronal depletion of the nucleus basalis of Meynert. Parkinsonism Relat Disord.

Which dementia progresses fastest? ›

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease causes a type of dementia that gets worse unusually fast. More common causes of dementia, such as Alzheimer's, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia, typically progress more slowly.

What are the 7 stages of Lewy body dementia? ›

WHAT ARE THE 7 STAGES OF DEMENTIA?
  • Stage One: No Cognitive Decline. ...
  • Stage Two: Very Mild Cognitive Decline. ...
  • Stage Three: Mild Cognitive Decline. ...
  • Stage Four: Moderate Cognitive Decline. ...
  • Stage Five: Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline. ...
  • Stage Six: Severe Cognitive Decline. ...
  • Stage Seven: Very Severe Cognitive Decline.
19 Feb 2019

Does Lewy body dementia run in families? ›

A growing body of evidence suggests genetics may play a role in the disorder and that some cases may be inherited. Scientists have found that some of these rare cases can be caused by mutations in the gene for alpha-synuclein (SNCA), the main protein found in Lewy bodies.

What time of day is dementia worse? ›

People living with Alzheimer's and other dementia may have problems sleeping or experience increased confusion, anxiety, agitation, pacing and disorientation beginning at dusk and continuing throughout the night (referred to as sundowning).

Does Lewy body affect the eyes? ›

If you have a dementia, you might have visual difficulties but still have healthy eyes. These problems are caused by the effects of dementia on the brain. Dementia conditions that can affect your vision include: Lewy body dementia.

What is the most common cause of death in dementia patients? ›

One of the most common causes of death for people with dementia is pneumonia caused by an infection. A person in the later stages of dementia may have symptoms that suggest that they are close to death, but can sometimes live with these symptoms for many months.

How do you slow down Lewy body dementia? ›

Treatment
  1. Your doctor may use cholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil and rivastigmine, to treat the cognitive symptoms of Lewy body dementia. ...
  2. Levodopa may help with movement and rigidity in some people with LBD.
  3. Melatonin or clonazepam can help treat REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and other sleeping problems.

How do you sleep with Lewy body dementia? ›

For those in the early stages of LBD, a simple wakeup call may suffice. To promote a healthy environment for falling asleep, remind or assist the patient to dim the lights and limit screen time a couple of hours before bed. Sleep disorders and hallucinations are among the most common Lewy Body Dementia symptoms.

What is the best sedative for dementia patients? ›

Commonly used drugs: In older adults these include:
  • Lorazepam (brand name Ativan)
  • Temazepam (brand name Restoril)
  • Diazepam (brand name Valium)
  • Alprazolam (brand name Xanax)
  • Clonazepam (brand name Klonopin)

What part of the brain does Lewy body dementia affect? ›

Lewy bodies affect several different brain regions in LBD: the cerebral cortex, which controls many functions, including information processing, perception, thought, and language. the limbic cortex, which plays a major role in emotions and behavior. the hippocampus, which is essential to forming new memories.

How do you treat Lewy body dementia naturally? ›

Lewy Body Dementia Natural Treatment
  1. Avoid Food Triggers. Diet plays a key role in cognitive decline and disorders like LBD or DLB. ...
  2. Eat Foods that Heal. ...
  3. Take Beneficial Supplements. ...
  4. Exercise. ...
  5. Pet Therapy. ...
  6. Massage. ...
  7. Aromatherapy. ...
  8. Music Therapy.
18 Apr 2016

What nutrient deficiency causes dementia? ›

Vitamin D deficiency was associated with an increased risk of both dementia and stroke, with the strongest associations for those with levels under 25 nanomoles per liter, or nmol/L.

What are the most common subjects of Lewy body dementia hallucinations? ›

Most commonly with Lewy body dementia, individuals will have visual hallucinations of small people, children or animals. Oftentimes these hallucinations are not threatening and do not need to be treated with medication.

Does Lewy body dementia cause aggression? ›

One of the biggest challenges facing seniors with LBD and their families is the fact that symptoms of the disease tend to worsen and improve erratically. Periods of mental fog, aggressive behavior, movement issues and vivid hallucinations can last seconds, minutes, hours or days.

Can you remove Lewy bodies? ›

The clumps, called Lewy bodies, build up to damage nerve cells and cause cell death, triggering the crippling disease. The body can't get rid of the Lewy bodies naturally because they aren't properly flagged up for destruction, and medics don't know how to stop them forming.

How fast does LBD progress? ›

Lewy body dementia usually takes five to eight years to progress from diagnosis to death. Some cases may progress faster, while others may progress much more slowly.

How do you know when someone with dementia is close to death? ›

These signs may include moaning or yelling, restlessness or an inability to sleep, grimacing, or sweating. This may also signal that it's time to call hospice or a palliative care team to help with the pain management.

Does Lewy body dementia affect speech? ›

Those affected by Lewy Body Dementia face cognitive difficulties with communication including speech and swallowing disorders. Speech therapy addresses communicating, language and swallowing therapy.

Do people with Lewy body know they have it? ›

It's these clusters that cause some or all of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease, as well as memory or cognitive problems, visual hallucinations, and problems with alertness. We rarely know if a living patient has Lewy bodies with certainty, however.

Does Lewy body dementia progress faster than Alzheimer's? ›

Unlike Alzheimer's disease, which tends to progress gradually, this disease often starts rapidly, with a fast decline in the first few months. Later, there may be some leveling off but Lewy body dementia typically progresses faster than Alzheimer's. A patient can survive from five to seven years with the disease.

Who is at high risk for Lewy body dementia? ›

Lewy body dementia is one of the most common causes of dementia. LBD affects more than 1 million individuals in the United States. People typically show symptoms at age 50 or older, although sometimes younger people have LBD. LBD appears to affect slightly more men than women.

Where are Lewy bodies found? ›

SUMMARY The Lewy body is a distinctive neuronal inclusion that is always found in the substantia nigra and other specific brain regions in Parkinson's disease. It is mainly composed of structurally altered neurofilament, and occurs wherever there is excessive loss of neurons.

What causes shaking in dementia patients? ›

Caffeine is probably the most common cause of an enhanced physiologic tremor, but there are many prescription medications that can also cause it. So, if your loved one developed a tremor when a medication was started or the dose increased, discuss with their doctor whether the medication could be the cause.

How long can a person live with dementia with Lewy bodies? ›

The life expectancy of individuals with dementia with Lewy bodies varies; people typically survive about 5 to 7 years after they are diagnosed. REM sleep behavior disorder may be the first sign of dementia with Lewy bodies. It can occur years before other symptoms appear.

What are the 7 stages of Lewy body dementia? ›

WHAT ARE THE 7 STAGES OF DEMENTIA?
  • Stage One: No Cognitive Decline. ...
  • Stage Two: Very Mild Cognitive Decline. ...
  • Stage Three: Mild Cognitive Decline. ...
  • Stage Four: Moderate Cognitive Decline. ...
  • Stage Five: Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline. ...
  • Stage Six: Severe Cognitive Decline. ...
  • Stage Seven: Very Severe Cognitive Decline.
19 Feb 2019

Is Lewy body dementia a form of Alzheimer's? ›

Overview. Lewy body dementia, also known as dementia with Lewy bodies, is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer's disease. Protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, develop in nerve cells in the brain regions involved in thinking, memory and movement (motor control).

How do you know if you have Lewy body dementia? ›

A diagnosis of Lewy body dementia requires a progressive decline in your ability to think, as well as at least two of the following:
  1. Fluctuating alertness and thinking function.
  2. Repeated visual hallucinations.
  3. Parkinsonian symptoms.
  4. REM sleep behavior disorder, in which people act out their dreams during sleep.
8 Jun 2021

What happens at the end of Lewy body dementia? ›

Like others with LBD, muscle weakness may affect his swallowing ability. This can lead to aspirating food or liquid, resulting in pneumonia, a common cause of death in advanced dementia. Even without problems with aspiration, he'd probably succumb to pneumonia or heart failure after months of being bedridden.

Is Lewy body dementia painful? ›

Many, if not most, people with Lewy Body Dementia have Parkinsonism mobility issues. Pain, of an often inexplicable source is very common, and has often been believed to be related to lack of mobility from the condition.

Can you reverse Lewy body dementia? ›

There's no cure for Lewy body dementia (LBD). Medications and nonmedical therapies, like physical, occupational and speech therapies, manage symptoms as much as possible.

How does Lewy body dementia start? ›

Dementia with Lewy bodies often starts when you have a hard time moving your body. Within a year, you start to have thinking and memory problems that are similar to Alzheimer's disease, along with changes in behavior. You also might see things that aren't there, called hallucinations.

What are the last stages of dementia before death? ›

Signs of the final stages of dementia include some of the following: Being unable to move around on one's own. Being unable to speak or make oneself understood. Eating problems such as difficulty swallowing.

What stage of dementia are you most likely to sleep? ›

Sleeping more and more is a common feature of later-stage dementia. As the disease progresses, the damage to a person's brain becomes more extensive and they gradually become weaker and frailer over time.

Can Lewy body dementia go into remission? ›

Remission to near-normal cognitive function can occur spontaneously in the absence of clear environmental triggers suggesting that fluctuating cognition in Lewy body dementia is internally driven and that dynamic changes in brain activity play a role in its aetiology (Ballard et al., 2001; Sourty et al., 2016).

Do people with Lewy body know they have it? ›

It's these clusters that cause some or all of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease, as well as memory or cognitive problems, visual hallucinations, and problems with alertness. We rarely know if a living patient has Lewy bodies with certainty, however.

What part of the brain does Lewy body dementia affect? ›

Lewy bodies affect several different brain regions in LBD: the cerebral cortex, which controls many functions, including information processing, perception, thought, and language. the limbic cortex, which plays a major role in emotions and behavior. the hippocampus, which is essential to forming new memories.

What is the best drug for Lewy body dementia? ›

Cholinesterase inhibitors are important drugs for managing patients in all stages of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), since they improve global cognitive function and reduce visual hallucinations and other behavioral symptoms.

Can an MRI scan detect Lewy body dementia? ›

Imaging techniques like computerized tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans have been around for many years and have been vital tools in diagnosing a very wide variety of diseases. While neither is diagnostic of Lewy body dementia (LBD), they can assist the physician in diagnosis.

What medications should be avoided with Lewy body dementia? ›

Patients who have dementia with Lewy bodies should not be given the older, typical D2-antagonist antipsychotic agents such as haloperidol (Haldol), fluphenazine (Prolixin), and chlorpromazine (Thorazine). Patient records should document this and caregivers should be informed.

Videos

1. Lunch with Docs® - Different from Alzheimer's: Lewy Body Dementia - David Shprecher, DO
(PMD Alliance)
2. What is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease?
(UMMCVideos)
3. What's the difference between Alzheimer's and dementia?
(Bupa Health UK)
4. What's the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's?
(AlzheimersResearch UK)
5. How to get to the right diagnosis: Dementia | Alzheimers, Picks, Vascular, Lewy Body & more | USMLE
(Ishwari Chandran)
6. Jim Leverenz, MD: Differentiating Those With Lewy Body Dementia
(Neurology Live)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Rueben Jacobs

Last Updated: 09/08/2022

Views: 5939

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (77 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rueben Jacobs

Birthday: 1999-03-14

Address: 951 Caterina Walk, Schambergerside, CA 67667-0896

Phone: +6881806848632

Job: Internal Education Planner

Hobby: Candle making, Cabaret, Poi, Gambling, Rock climbing, Wood carving, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Rueben Jacobs, I am a cooperative, beautiful, kind, comfortable, glamorous, open, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.