More Severe Functional Impairment in Dementia With Lewy Bodies Than Alzheimer Disease Is Related to Extrapyramidal Motor Dysfunction

Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK.
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 4.24). 08/2006; 14(7):582-8. DOI: 10.1097/01.JGP.0000216177.08010.f4
Source: PubMed


The objective of this study was to compare functional impairments in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer disease (AD) and their relationship with motor and neuropsychiatric symptoms.
The authors conducted a cross-sectional study of 84 patients with DLB or AD in a secondary care setting. Patients were diagnosed according to published criteria for DLB and AD. The Bristol Activities of Daily Living Scale (BADLS) was used to assess functional impairments. Participants were also assessed using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (motor section), the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, and the Mini-Mental Status Examination.
Patients with DLB were more functionally impaired and had more motor and neuropsychiatric difficulties than patients with AD with similar cognitive scores. In both AD and DLB, there were correlations between total BADLS scores and motor and neuropsychiatric deficits. There was more impairment in the mobility and self-care components of the BADLS in DLB than in AD, and in DLB, these were highly correlated with UPDRS score. In AD, orientation and instrumental BADLS components were most affected.
The nature of functional disability differs between AD and DLB with additional impairments in mobility and self-care in DLB being mainly attributable to extrapyramidal motor symptoms. Consideration of these is important in assessment and management. Activities of daily living scales for use in this population should attribute the extent to which functional disabilities are related to cognitive, psychiatric, or motor dysfunction.

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    • "The diagnosis of DLB is based on assessing the probability that the pattern and degree of Lewy-related pathology (LRP) versus AD pathology is related to a cognitive disorder [19,53]. Currently, pure DLB is diagnosed pathologically according to the severity and distribution of LRP in certain brain regions, and Braak neurofibrillary stages less than stage IV [54,55]. Fibrillar forms of α-synuclein are the major component of LRP (Figure 1) [56]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) was initially identified and confirmed primarily by pathology, but is soon to be incorporated into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual criteria as a clinical disease entity. Despite these advances over more than 20 years, current data suggest that the sensitivity of accurate clinical diagnosis of DLB is still very low, although there is mounting evidence that supportive features may increase diagnostic accuracy. Although DLB remains easy to identify pathologically with different cellular pathologies differentiating it from other dementia syndromes, pathological identification using only Lewy body pathology has been shown to be inaccurate due to overlap with patients without dementia symptoms. A number of studies now suggest that a combination of cellular pathologies, which include alpha-synuclein and beta-amyloid deposition as well as dopamine denervation, assist with differentiating this dementia syndrome from others. The clinical and pathological overlap with the tauopathy of Alzheimer's disease still remains to be clarified. To determine more robust and independent clinicopathological correlates from Alzheimer's disease, longitudinal prospective studies, using specific clinical batteries on dementia patients reaching the proposed criteria for DLB, with post-mortem assessment of the multiple pathologies associated with dementia, are required. Identifying genetic causes for DLB is another approach to investigate the pathogenesis of DLB. However this approach has been hindered to date by difficulties with identifying DLB clinically. The use of novel techniques is likely to advance knowledge on the pathogenesis of DLB and assist with redefining clinical and pathologic diagnostic criteria. To achieve the goal of more accurate clinical diagnosis of DLB, breakthroughs are necessary on the pathogenesis of DLB.
    Translational Neurodegeneration 02/2013; 2(1):4. DOI:10.1186/2047-9158-2-4
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    • "Pharmacological management of DLB remains one of the most challenging issues facing neurologists, psychiatrists, geriatricians, primary care physicians and others. The combination of cognitive, neuropsychiatric, autonomic and motor features in DLB is, when compared with AD, much more likely to lead to greater functional impairment (McKeith et al., 2006) and poorer quality of life. Moreover, the balance between these features varies, both between individual subjects and as the disease progresses. "
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    ABSTRACT: The British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP) coordinated a meeting of experts to review and revise its first (2006) Guidelines for clinical practice with anti-dementia drugs. As before, levels of evidence were rated using accepted standards which were then translated into grades of recommendation A to D, with A having the strongest evidence base (from randomized controlled trials) and D the weakest (case studies or expert opinion). Current clinical diagnostic criteria for dementia have sufficient accuracy to be applied in clinical practice (B) and brain imaging can improve diagnostic accuracy (B). Cholinesterase inhibitors (donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine) are effective for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (A) and memantine for moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease (A). Until further evidence is available other drugs, including statins, anti-inflammatory drugs, vitamin E and Ginkgo biloba, cannot be recommended either for the treatment or prevention of Alzheimer's disease (A). Neither cholinesterase inhibitors nor memantine are effective in those with mild cognitive impairment (A). Cholinesterase inhibitors are not effective in frontotemporal dementia and may cause agitation (A), though selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may help behavioural (but not cognitive) features (B). Cholinesterase inhibitors should be used for the treatment of people with Lewy body dementias (Parkinson's disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)), especially for neuropsychiatric symptoms (A). Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine can produce cognitive improvements in DLB (A). There is no clear evidence that any intervention can prevent or delay the onset of dementia. Although the consensus statement focuses on medication, psychological interventions can be effective in addition to pharmacotherapy, both for cognitive and non-cognitive symptoms. Many novel pharmacological approaches involving strategies to reduce amyloid and/or tau deposition are in progress. Although results of pivotal studies are awaited, results to date have been equivocal and no disease-modifying agents are either licensed or can be currently recommended for clinical use.
    Journal of Psychopharmacology 11/2010; 25(8):997-1019. DOI:10.1177/0269881110387547 · 3.59 Impact Factor
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    • "DLB is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease (AD), accounting for 15–20% of dementia cases in pathological studies (McKeith et al., 1996). However, to our knowledge, only a few systematic studies have investigated eating/swallowing problems in DLB patients (McKeith et al., 2006). The aim of the present study was to clarify the frequency and characteristics of eating/swallowing problems in DLB patients, and their relationship to other symptoms. "
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    ABSTRACT: Eating problems occur frequently in patients with dementia, and almost half of all patients with Parkinson's disease have such problems. It has therefore been assumed that eating problems are also common in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). However, few systematic studies have investigated eating problems in DLB patients. The aim of this study was to clarify the frequency and characteristics of eating problems in patients with DLB. We examined 29 consecutive patients with DLB and 33 with Alzheimer's disease (AD) in terms of age, sex, education, Mini-mental State Examination, clinical dementia rating (CDR), neuropsychiatric inventory (NPI), Unified Parkinson disease rating scale (UPDRS), fluctuations in cognition, and usage of neuroleptic drugs / antiparkinsonian drugs. We employed a comprehensive questionnaire comprising 40 items and compared the scores between the two groups. DLB patients showed significantly higher scores than AD patients for "difficulty in swallowing foods," "difficulty in swallowing liquids," "coughing or choking when swallowing," "taking a long time to swallow," "suffering from sputum," "loss of appetite," "need watching or help," and "constipation". Only the UPDRS score significantly affected the scores for "difficulty in swallowing foods," "taking a long time to swallow" and "needs watching or help" score, whereas only the NPI score affected the score for "loss of appetite." The scores for UPDRS, NPI and CDR significantly affected the scores for "difficulty in swallowing liquids." No significant independent variables affected the scores for "coughing or choking when swallowing," "suffering from sputum" and "constipation." Although DLB patients show many eating problems, the causes of each problem vary, and the severity of dementia or Parkinsonism is not the only determinant.
    International Psychogeriatrics 04/2009; 21(3):520-5. DOI:10.1017/S1041610209008631 · 1.93 Impact Factor
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