Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), the second most common cause of dementia, remains a difficult condition to accurately diagnose and manage. Variable involvement of motor and cognitive functions, plus psychiatric and behavioral symptoms, contributes to the difficulty in managing DLB. Additionally, DLB can cause severe sleep disruption through REM sleep behavior disorder, autonomic symptoms, disruptions of olfaction/taste and mood, hallucinations, and more. In this chapter, advances and remaining challenges in the diagnosis of DLB are discussed, including a review of the current consensus criteria for DLB. The spectrum of disorders with Lewy bodies (LBs) are described including their wide-range of clinical presentations and overlap with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease with and without dementia. Particular consideration is given to advancements in quantification of cognitive fluctuations through improved clinical instruments, EEG, and other advanced biomarkers. Detection of DLB has improved, but establishing the “primary” pathology in cases with concomitant LB andd AD remains difficult. Likelihood of a clinical DLB syndrome is thought to be a function of distribution of LBs and severity of AD-type pathology. Further work is needed to better understand LB disease subtypes and the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms to allow for more targeted and comprehensive therapies.
Part of the book: Dementia in Parkinson’s Disease