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Dementia With Lewy Bodies (cont.)

Dementia with Lewy Bodies Symptoms

Patient Comments

Symptoms vary from person to person with dementia with Lewy bodies. The one characteristic common to everyone with dementia with Lewy bodies is progressive loss of mental abilities that interferes with everyday activities. This may include the following:

  • Loss of recent memory
  • Inability to concentrate or pay attention
  • Difficulty thinking, reasoning, solving problems
  • Misperceptions of space and time

Mental function usually varies in dementia with Lewy bodies, getting better and worse over time. Although the sharpness of our mental function varies in everyone - we all have our good moments and bad moments, or are "morning" persons or "evening" persons - this fluctuation is especially dramatic in dementia with Lewy bodies. This is especially true of alertness and attention. A person with dementia with Lewy bodies typically has periods of being alert, coherent, and oriented that alternate with periods of being confused and less responsive. This usually is considered more characteristic of dementia with Lewy bodies than of other types of dementia. Other symptoms include the following:

  • Abnormal movements of Parkinson's disease (shuffling gait, tremor, muscle stiffness)
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Nonvisual hallucinations (hearing, smell, touch)
  • Delusions
  • Agitation
  • Unexplained fainting
  • Sensitivity to "neuroleptic" drugs given to control hallucinations and delusions

None of these symptoms are unique to dementia with Lewy bodies or definitively point to dementia with Lewy bodies as a diagnosis. In fact, people with dementia with Lewy bodies often are very difficult to distinguish from those with Alzheimer's disease. People with dementia with Lewy bodies, however, often develop both Alzheimer's symptoms and Parkinson's symptoms within 1 year of each other.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2017
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Lewy Bodies Dementia (LBD):

Dementia with Lewy Bodies - Experience

Tell us about your experience with Lewy body dementia.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies - Symptoms

What were your symptoms of Lewy body dementia, or those of of a relative or friend?

Dementia with Lewy Bodies - Medications

What medications have been effective in treating the symptoms you or someone you know with dementia with Lewy bodies?

Dementia with Lewy Bodies - Self-Care at Home

What home care or lifestyle changes helped with caring for someone with dementia with Lewy bodies?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Dementia With Lewy Bodies »

Frederick Lewy first described Lewy bodies (LBs), cytoplasmic inclusions found in cells of the substantia nigra in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease, in 1914.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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