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Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is a form of dementia that shares characteristics of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Abnormal deposits of protein (alpha-synuclein), called Lewy bodies affects the chemicals in the brain. Lewy bodies are named after Dr Friederich Lewy, a German neurologist who discovered abnormal protein deposits that disrupt the brain’s normal functioning in people with Parkinson’s disease in 1912.
The chemical changes in the brain can lead to problems with a person’s thinking, how they move as well as behaviour and mood. Early DLB symptoms can often be confused with similar symptoms found in Alzheimer’s. DLB can occur on its own but also alongside Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. There are two types of DLB; Dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies is one of the more common forms of progressive dementia. It can include symptoms of difficulty sleeping, loss of smell and visual hallucinations. Parkinson’s disease dementia may affect memory, social judgment, language or reasoning.
DLB appears to affect both men and women and accounts for up to 20% of people of dementia worldwide. It typically begins at the age of 50 or older but like most forms of dementia it is more prevalent if people over 65. More information and typical symptoms is available from