Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Key Clues Differentiate Alzheimer's from Lewy Body Dementia

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Key Clues Differentiate Alzheimer's from Lewy Body Dementia

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- Specific changes in alertness and cognition provide a key diagnostic clue for clinicians faced with distinguishing Alzheimer's disease from dementia with Lewy bodies and the normal effects of aging, Tanis Ferman, Ph.D., reported at an American Medical Association briefing on Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are both dementias indicated by cognitive decline inappropriate to age that interfere with normal tasks of daily living. In Alzheimer's, memory is initially affected.

In DLB, early losses of attentiveness and visual perception are common.

Persons with DLB often have full-blown hallucinations, Parkinson-like movement problems, and/or fluctuating cognition, which are symptoms also associated with late-stage AD. But one or all of the symptoms are always present in early dementia with Lewy bodies.

"Drugs that help with Alzheimer's patients can aggravate DLB symptoms, such as parkinsonism and hallucinations. And some treatments that are only marginally helpful in AD can have a powerful therapeutic effect on Lewy body dementia. So, it is crucial to make the right diagnosis between these conditions," said Dr. Ferman of the department of psychiatry and psychology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville (Fla.).

Investigators enrolled 200 community-dwelling and cognitively normal adult subjects. Seventy subjects had been diagnosed with DLB and 70 (with collateral informants) with Alzheimer's disease. They administered a 19-item questionnaire to the subjects or their collateral informants (Neurology 62[2]:187-87, 2004). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.