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Symptoms and Signs of Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Doctor's Notes on Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a syndrome that describes dementia associated with or possibly caused by small clumps of proteins abnormally aggregate inside nerve cells in the brain. Signs and symptoms are early cognitive impairment like loss of recent memory and difficulty thinking and behavioral disturbances like depression, delusions, hallucinations but not motor symptoms like tremors or foot schuffling as is the case for Parkinson’s disease. However, motor symptoms can appear later as the disease progresses. Signs and symptoms slowly progress over time; finding Lewy bodies in brain cells at autopsy is the only confirmation of Lewy bodies in brain cells.

The cause of Lewy body dementia and even the cause of Lewy body formation is unknown. Some researchers suggest Lewy bodies aggregate and eventually damage and kill the brain cell they inhabit while others suggest Lewy body formation is a symptom of an unknown toxic event in the brain cell.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.