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  Lewy Body Dementia

What is Dementia With Lewy Bodies?

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is one of the most common types of progressive dementia.

 

The central feature of DLB is progressive cognitive decline, combined with three additional defining features: 

(1) pronounced “fluctuations” in alertness and attention, such as frequent drowsiness, lethargy, lengthy periods of time spent staring into space, or disorganized speech;

(2) recurrent visual hallucinations,  and

(3) parkinsonian motor symptoms, such as rigidity and the loss of spontaneous movement.   

 

People may also suffer from depression.  The symptoms of DLB are caused by the build-up of Lewy bodies – accumulated bits of alpha-synuclein protein -- inside the nuclei of neurons in areas of the brain that control particular aspects of memory and motor control.  Researchers don’t know exactly why alpha-synuclein accumulates into Lewy bodies or how Lewy bodies cause the symptoms of DLB, but they do know that alpha-synuclein accumulation is also linked to Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy, and several other disorders, which are referred to as the "synucleinopathies." The similarity of symptoms between DLB and Parkinson’s disease, and between DLB and Alzheimer’s disease, can often make it difficult for a doctor to make a definitive diagnosis. In addition, Lewy bodies are often also found in the brains of people with Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s diseases.  These findings suggest that either DLB is related to these other causes of dementia or that an individual can have both diseases at the same time.  DLB usually occurs sporadically, in people with no known family history of the disease. However, rare familial cases have occasionally been reported. 

 

 
 
 More than 100 types of dementia have been found, but four of them account for nearly 98 percent of all cases of dementia in the United States.
 
LEWY BODY DEMENTIA (LBD)

DESCRIPTION: Like Alzheimer's, LBD produces cognitive decline, but with three additional traits. Instead of declining continuously, people with LBD tend to fluctuate in terms of attention, alertness, ability to speak coherently, and other symptoms. They also tend to have visual hallucinations, often benign. Finally, they tend to develop symptoms of Parkinson's disease, including rigidity, tremor, and slowness of movement.

 

CAUSE: A type of protein known as alpha-synuclein clumps into Lewy bodies, which appear inside of cells, or neurons. Lewy bodies may result from the inability of the cell to break down and recycle alpha-synuclein efficiently. As the protein accumulates, it sticks together, as though the cell is trying to gather its own debris to keep it out of the way.

 

TYPICAL CASE: People with LBD often act out violent dreams that involve being pursued or attacked. They may develop benign hallucinations involving, for example, children or animals running around the house. Attention and concentration may fluctuate, and patients may start to have trouble with visual-spatial abilities-they may misjudge the height of a step or miss a cup when they reach for it. Some people with LBD experience an overwhelming urge to sleep during the day. Their movements also may become rigid and slow, like the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and they may develop problems with memory, judgment, and mood, like the symptoms of AD.

 

TREATMENT: No treatment specifically for LBD exists. However, since LBD affects nearly every neurochemical system in the brain, specific aspects of the disease can be treated. Memory problems can be treated with donepezil and other drugs for AD. Movement disorders may respond to L-dopa and other medications for Parkinson's disease. Modafinil may alleviate daytime sleepiness.

 

ON THE HORIZON: No drug yet exists that affects the synuclein protein, although some drugs exist for daytime sleepiness, and another, which resembles methylfenidate, is in development.

http://journals.lww.com/neurologynow/Fulltext/2009/05060/The__Other__Dementias.14.aspx

 
 
 
NINDS Dementia With Lewy Bodies Information Page
 
Lewy Body Society  http://www.lewybody.org/
 

 http://braininjurygroupfoundation.sharepoint.com

 

Group Meetings:  7:00PM 

Second (2nd) Thursday of the month...

United Auto Workers Local 974

3025 Springfield Rd. East Peoria IL  61611 

 

    Chris Hess  309-565-0115

 

  

http://www.biail.org/        

      info@biail.org 

 (312) 726-5699  or 800-699-6443

 

Lewy Body Dementia

 
 

What is Dementia With Lewy Bodies?

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is one of the most common types of progressive dementia.

 

The central feature of DLB is progressive cognitive decline, combined with three additional defining features: 

(1) pronounced “fluctuations” in alertness and attention, such as frequent drowsiness, lethargy, lengthy periods of time spent staring into space, or disorganized speech;

(2) recurrent visual hallucinations,  and

(3) parkinsonian motor symptoms, such as rigidity and the loss of spontaneous movement.   

 

People may also suffer from depression.  The symptoms of DLB are caused by the build-up of Lewy bodies – accumulated bits of alpha-synuclein protein -- inside the nuclei of neurons in areas of the brain that control particular aspects of memory and motor control.  Researchers don’t know exactly why alpha-synuclein accumulates into Lewy bodies or how Lewy bodies cause the symptoms of DLB, but they do know that alpha-synuclein accumulation is also linked to Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy, and several other disorders, which are referred to as the "synucleinopathies." The similarity of symptoms between DLB and Parkinson’s disease, and between DLB and Alzheimer’s disease, can often make it difficult for a doctor to make a definitive diagnosis. In addition, Lewy bodies are often also found in the brains of people with Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s diseases.  These findings suggest that either DLB is related to these other causes of dementia or that an individual can have both diseases at the same time.  DLB usually occurs sporadically, in people with no known family history of the disease. However, rare familial cases have occasionally been reported. 

 

 
 
 More than 100 types of dementia have been found, but four of them account for nearly 98 percent of all cases of dementia in the United States.
 
LEWY BODY DEMENTIA (LBD)

DESCRIPTION: Like Alzheimer's, LBD produces cognitive decline, but with three additional traits. Instead of declining continuously, people with LBD tend to fluctuate in terms of attention, alertness, ability to speak coherently, and other symptoms. They also tend to have visual hallucinations, often benign. Finally, they tend to develop symptoms of Parkinson's disease, including rigidity, tremor, and slowness of movement.

 

CAUSE: A type of protein known as alpha-synuclein clumps into Lewy bodies, which appear inside of cells, or neurons. Lewy bodies may result from the inability of the cell to break down and recycle alpha-synuclein efficiently. As the protein accumulates, it sticks together, as though the cell is trying to gather its own debris to keep it out of the way.

 

TYPICAL CASE: People with LBD often act out violent dreams that involve being pursued or attacked. They may develop benign hallucinations involving, for example, children or animals running around the house. Attention and concentration may fluctuate, and patients may start to have trouble with visual-spatial abilities-they may misjudge the height of a step or miss a cup when they reach for it. Some people with LBD experience an overwhelming urge to sleep during the day. Their movements also may become rigid and slow, like the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and they may develop problems with memory, judgment, and mood, like the symptoms of AD.

 

TREATMENT: No treatment specifically for LBD exists. However, since LBD affects nearly every neurochemical system in the brain, specific aspects of the disease can be treated. Memory problems can be treated with donepezil and other drugs for AD. Movement disorders may respond to L-dopa and other medications for Parkinson's disease. Modafinil may alleviate daytime sleepiness.

 

ON THE HORIZON: No drug yet exists that affects the synuclein protein, although some drugs exist for daytime sleepiness, and another, which resembles methylfenidate, is in development.

http://journals.lww.com/neurologynow/Fulltext/2009/05060/The__Other__Dementias.14.aspx

 
 
 
NINDS Dementia With Lewy Bodies Information Page
 
Lewy Body Society  http://www.lewybody.org/
 
 
  

http://www.biail.org/    

      

      info@biail.org 

 

   (312) 726-5699  or In-State  800-699-6443

.