Patients  
  & Visitors  
  Services &  
  Procedures  
Login/Join Community
Careers & Employment Volunteers Online Bill Pay Contact Us Concierge 1700 S. Tamiami Trail, 34239 • Phone: (941) 917-9000

Dementia with Lewy Bodies Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version Share

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is now recognized as second only to Alzheimer's disease in causing degenerative dementia. The central clinical feature of DLB is a progressive, often rapid decline in brain function. Early in the disease this may not affect memory as much as other mental abilities. Problems with paying attention, organizing, and spatial skills may be affected first.

DLB is also unusual in that considerable variation in alertness and attention can occur throughout the day. Persons with DLB often have trouble with seeing things that aren't there (hallucinations) and believing things that aren't true (delusions), and may describe these things very clearly and in much detail. DLB also affects muscular activity, with most patients experiencing stiffness and tremors like those found in Parkinson's disease. Falls and passing out spells are also common. Depression is more often seen in DLB than in Alzheimer's disease. A disturbance in the dream phase (REM) of sleep also occurs.

DLB is important to identify when present, because persons affected have unusual sensitivity to the tranquilizers most often used for hallucinations (neuroleptics), and have severe adverse reactions when given these drugs. It is also felt that persons with DLB respond unusually well to the cholinesterase inhibitors used in treatment of Alzheimer's disease (Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl).

The speed of deterioration of DLB varies, but is generally faster than in Alzheimer's disease.

Reporting Concerns | PRIVACY POLICY | Terms of Service | Online Bill Pay | Mobile Site | Smartphone App
Site optimized for Chrome or Firefox | Copyright © 2014. Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. All rights reserved.