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
- Problems with movement and posture
- Muscle stiffness
- 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
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
- Lewy Body Dementia (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Lewy Body Dementia: Information for Patients, Families, and Professionals (National Institute on Aging)
- What Is Lewy Body Dementia? (Lewy Body Dementia Association)
Treatments and Therapies
- Lewy Body Disease Treatment Options (Lewy Body Dementia Association)
- Caregiver FAQ (Lewy Body Dementia Association)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Lewy Body Disease (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: α-Synuclein strains cause distinct synucleinopathies after local and systemic administration.
- Article: Neurodegeneration: Aggregates feel the strain.
- Article: Dopamine transporter single-photon emission computerized tomography supports diagnosis of akinetic...
- Lewy Body Disease -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Find a Neurologist (American Academy of Neurology)
- Lewy Body Dementia Association
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Available in Spanish