Finding a Doctor to Diagnose and Treat LBD | Lewy Body Dementia Association LBDA

Finding a Doctor to Diagnose and Treat LBD

One of the most frequent questions people ask us is, “how do I find an LBD doctor?”

Family physicians are a great first resource if you are experiencing any cognitive, emotional, behavioral, or physical changes. However, neurologists generally possess the specialized knowledge to diagnose specific types of dementia or movement disorders, as do geriatric psychiatrists and neuropsychologists. These specialists may require a referral from your primary care physician.

Geriatricians, who specialize in treating older adults, are also frequently familiar with the different forms of dementia.

Tips for Finding a Doctor Who is Knowledgeable About LBD

The LBDA Research Centers of Excellence program is a research network of 25 sites where you can find expert LBD clinical care.  These clinics are at major academic research centers with a commitment to providing outreach and support to LBD families, and where you can find opportunities to participate in researach. 

If you are not near an LBDA Research Center of Excellence, contact any hospital affiliated with a medical school. Ask if they have a clinic specializing in dementia or movement disorders. These clinics often offer a high level of diagnostic and treatment capability.

Neurologists make the vast majority of LBD diagnoses. The patient site for the American Academy of Neurology has an outstanding search engine for neurologists. Visit their site and use the “Find a Neurologist” tool. Enter your state and city to narrow your search results. Choosing sub-specialties such as these may help further refine your search results:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Behavioral neurology
  • Dementia
  • Movement disorders
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sleep disorders (if needed for more complex sleep issues)

A geriatric psychiatrist is a medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders in older adults. These disorders include, but are not limited to, dementia, depression, anxiety, alcohol and substance abuse/misuse, and late-life schizophrenia.