- Neurocognitive Disorder (NCD) with Lewy Bodies also called dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is one of the latest NCDs to be added to the DSM.
- DLB is recognized as the second largest cause of dementia as it accounts for about 15% of dementia cases as compared to 60-75% for Alzheimer's disease.
- Discovered nearly a full century ago but only a gleam in the eyes of clinicians and researchers until the mid-1990s there are now well over a million patients with DLB in the USA today.
- Patients with DLB have the clinical features of both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease and these similarities probably explain why DLB had remained obscure for so long.
- Early on patients with DLB tend to experience less of the initial memory loss that is typical in Alzheimer's with their attention span and alertness being most affected waxing and waning over minutes to hours in more than half the patients.
- Patients with DLB have well-formed visual hallucinations of animals or other intruders which may occur early on in the course and tend to persist.
- Patients with DLB develop the late onset occurrence of the typical features of Parkinson's disease which include immobile faces, hand tremors, and shuffling gait with these symptoms beginning generally at least one year after the onset of the other symptoms.
- DLB typically begins about around the age of 75 with men being affected somewhat more often than women and the patient then living about 10 years after the diagnosis is made.
Neurocognitive Disorder with Lewy Bodies - 294.11