The Difference Between Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, And Alzheimer’s Disease

lewy body parkinsons

A physician can order a sleep study to identify any underlying sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and REM sleep behavior disorder. A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of developing a disease. No specific lifestyle factor has been proven to increase one’s risk for LBD. LBD and PD are different but related neurological diseases that can cause issues with movement, thinking, and memory.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition that develops slowly and primarily affects nerve cells in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. The nerve cells in this region produce dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates various bodily image source processes, including movement. Sleep disorders are common in people with LBD, especially rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD). This condition involves frequent movements, such as flailing or punching, with yelling or speaking while sleeping.

Dementia always appears first (or around the same time as parkinsonism) in DLB. The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s such as tremor, slowness, stiffness and walking/balance/gait problems usually become more evident as the disease progresses. Visual hallucinations, REM sleep behavior disorder, fluctuating levels of alertness and attention, mood changes and autonomic dysfunction are also characteristic of DLB. The different phenotypes of LBD are in both clinical routine and research classified based on the mutual relationship between parkinsonian motor signs and the signs of cognitive dysfunction.

Although there is no cure for dementia, a combination of medication and therapy may help an individual adjust to their diagnosis and maintain their independence. Research suggests that Lewy bodies play a role in several conditions that cause dementia. Lewy body dementia results from a buildup of Lewy bodies, which are abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein. Many avenues of research are being explored to improve our understanding of LBD. Some researchers are working to identify the specific differences in the brain between the two types of LBD. Others are looking at the disease’s underlying biology, genetics, and environmental risk factors.

PD is a movement disorder (it affects movements), and LBD is a cognitive disorder (it affects thinking). Any medical information provided is solely for the purpose of providing information and is not intended as medical advice. You should they said always talk to your personal healthcare providers for specific medical and health-related instructions and guidelines. DLB gained more visibility in the press when Robin Williams, the beloved comedian, died in 2014 with this condition.

These strains exhibit different cell toxicity and differences in the ability to induce tau protein aggregation. This is again a situation where pathological processes preceding the formation of LBs may affect the course and progression of the disease. Thus, different aSyn strains may also be the factor involved in the phenotypic variability of this group of diseases94,95. While it’s not a household word yet, Lewy body dementia (LBD) is not a rare disease. It affects an estimated 1.4 million individuals and their families in the United States. Because LBD symptoms can closely resemble other more commonly known disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s, it is often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

lewy body parkinsons

This was the typical LB pathology accompanied by the presence of A deposits in the limbic system25. Finally, Alzheimer’s is characterized by different abnormal clumps here called amyloid plaques, and jumbled fiber bundles called tau tangles. These microscopic structural changes in the brain were discovered by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906.

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