Dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson's disease.Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2004 May; 10 Suppl 1:S15-8.PR
Lewy bodies (LB) in the central nervous system are associated with several different clinical syndromes including Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Long term follow up of PD patients finds up to 78% eventually develop dementia, most of these patients exhibiting fluctuating cognition and visual hallucinations similar to DLB and with extensive cortical LB at autopsy. alpha-Synuclein positive, neuritic pathology, in the putamen of DLB and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD), may contribute to postural-instability gait difficulty, parkinsonism, diminished levodopa responsiveness and increased neuroleptic sensitivity. Cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms improve with cholinesterase inhibitor treatment in both patient groups. DLB and PDD should be seen as different points on a spectrum of LB disease. Distinguishing them as separate disorders may be useful in clinical practice, but may be of limited value in terms of investigating and treating the underlying neurobiology.