Lewy Body Disease
Lewy body disease is a type of dementia. Dementia is the progressive loss of memory and various other mental functions, including the ability to learn, reason, and judge.
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Lewy body disease is associated with the build up of Lewy bodies in regions of the brain. These are abnormal protein deposits inside cells that play a role in certain aspects of memory, visual processing, and and motor control. It is not clear exactly what causes the build up of Lewy bodies in the brain.
Lewy body disease is more common in men, and in people over 50 years old. It is also more common in people with a family history of Lewy body disease, Parkinson's disease , or other dementias.
The disease is linked to:
Lewy body disease is characterized by:
- Fluctuations in alertness and attention—frequent drowsiness, lethargy, staring into space, disorganized speech, and insomnia
- Recurrent visual hallucinations
- Poor regulation of body temperature and blood pressure
- Obsessive compulsive behaviors
- Parkinsonian motor symptoms, such as rigidity or loss of spontaneous movement
- REM sleep behavior disorder
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. A doctor can do tests to narrow the cause of dementia. Other tests may include:
- Memory, language, and other cognitive tests
- Neuropsychological tests
- Patient and family interviews
- Imaging tests take pictures of internal bodily structures. This can be done with:
- Blood tests
The only way to confirm Lewy body disease is through an autopsy after death.
While there is no cure for Lewy body disease, there are treatments that can control the symptoms. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
These medications may be used to help with the symptoms:
- Cholinesterase inhibitors
- Glutamate blockers
If you have Lewy body disease, you may be sensitive to medications called neuroleptics. You may have adverse events with these medications.
You may benefit from:
There are no current guidelines to prevent Lewy body disease.
- Rimas Lukas, MD
- Reviewed: 08/2015
- Updated: 09/03/2014
Please note, not all procedures included in this resource library are available at Allegiance Health or performed by Allegiance Health physicians.
All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at HLEditorialTeam@ebscohost.com.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.