Lewy body dementia is likely the second most common dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.
Ref. 10 describes certain characteristic immunohistochemical changes that are typical for the degenerative inclusion cysts in neurons, called Lewy bodies found through brain biopsy in the brains of these patients.
The authors of Ref. 11 did autopsies on 273 nursing home patients and correlated their mental status recordings prior to death to the brain pathology found later.
They could establish that the severity of dementia was directly linked to the amount of Lewy bodies present in the brain of each patient.
This was independent of other psychiatric disease such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson disease. Ref.10 suggested that a new name should be given to Lewy body dementia, namely “diffuse Lewy body disease”. Typical symptoms of this disease are visual hallucinations. Also, patients are quite sensitive to antipsychotic medications, which have anticholinergic side-effects producing Parkinson disease like symptoms as adverse effects. There is a decrease in the metabolism of the occipital part of the brain (in the back of the brain), which can be depicted with PET scans.
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