Lewy body disease is a type of dementia.
is the progressive loss of memory and various other mental functions, including the ability to learn, reason, and judge.
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Lewy body disease is associated with the buildup 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 motor control. It is not clear exactly what causes the buildup of Lewy bodies in the brain.
Lewy body disease is characterized by:
Fluctuations in alertness and attention—frequent drowsiness, lethargy, staring into space, disorganized speech,
insomniaRecurrent visual hallucinationsPoor regulation of body temperature and blood pressureObsessive compulsive behaviorsForgetfulnessParkinsonian motor symptoms, such as rigidity or loss of spontaneous movementRapid eye 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 testsNeuropsychological testsPatient and family interviews
Imaging tests take pictures of internal bodily structures. This can be done with:
MRI scanCT scanPositron emission tomography (PET)/CT scanBlood 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 inhibitorsGlutamate blockersCatecholaminesAntidepressantsAnticonvulsants
If you have Lewy body disease, you may be sensitive to medications called neuroleptics. You may have adverse events with these medications.
There are no current guidelines to prevent Lewy body disease.
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Last reviewed August 2015 by Rimas Lukas, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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