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Lewy Body Disease

Also called: Dementia with Lewy bodies 
 
 

Lewy body disease is one of the most common causes of dementia in the elderly. Dementia is the loss of mental functions severe enough to affect normal activities and relationships. Lewy body disease happens when abnormal structures, called Lewy bodies, build up in areas of the brain. The disease may cause a wide range of symptoms, including

  • Changes in alertness and attention
  • Hallucinations
  • Problems with movement and posture
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of memory

Lewy body disease can be hard to diagnose, because Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease cause similar symptoms. Scientists think that Lewy body disease might be related to these diseases, or that they sometimes happen together.

Lewy body disease usually begins between the ages of 50 and 85. The disease gets worse over time. There is no cure. Treatment focuses on drugs to help symptoms.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

 

 

 
 
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Micrograph of brain cells containing a Lewy body, the light purple sphere indicated with the arrow

National Institutes of Health

 

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MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.