Brain Disorders

Picture of Lewy Body Dementia

Picture of Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a common brain disorder that impairs a person's ability to do everyday activities. Although the disorder occasionally runs in families, most cases occur spontaneously. Protein deposits made of alpha-synuclein form "Lewy bodies" in brain tissue that are identified microscopically and are are characteristic of the disease. The Lewy bodies accumulate in different areas of the brain, including the cerebral cortex, and affect the brain's ability to function properly. LBD affects cognition, sleep, mood, behavior, and movement. Hallucinations may also be a component of LBD. Aspects of the condition mimic symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

The diagnosis of LBD may be difficult because early symptoms resemble those of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's. Although there is no cure for LBD, treatment can help manage symptoms.

Image Source: Image reprinted with permission from, 2009

Text Reference: "Lewy Body Dementia." National Institute on Aging.