J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2007 Dec;11(2):62-72.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Bucheon, Korea. hanyjung@schbc.ac.kr

Abstract

Here the author reviews the clinical and pathologic characteristics of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). DLB took many years to crystallize into a recognizable clinico-pathologic entity. Based on sensitive immunostaining technique, DLB is now considered the second most commonest cause of neurodegenerative dementia in the elderly. It is part of the range of clinical presentations that share a neuritic pathology based on abnormal aggregation of the synaptic protein alpha-synuclein. Lewy body pathology is found from the brainstem to the cortex and, in many cases, associated with concurrent Alzheimer' disease pathology. A recent international consortium on DLB has resulted in revised criteria for the clinical and pathological diagnosis of DLB incorporating new information about the clinical features and improved methods for their assessment. Neuropathologic diagnosis now assigns a weight to both alpha-synuclein and Alzheimer tangle pathology. Accurate identification of patients is important because they have specific symptoms, impairments, and functional disabilities that differ from those of other dementing illness including Alzheimer's disease.

Keyword

Dementia with Lewy bodies; alpha-synuclein; Diagnostic criteria; Alzheimer's disease pathology
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