Lewy body pathology is found in up to 50% of cases of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, which can make it challenging for physicians to distinguish the underlying cause or causes of dementia symptoms. The diagnostic problem is compounded because Lewy bodies alone can result in Lewy body dementia.
A new study shines new light on important clinical differences between people who have autopsy-verified Alzheimer’s disease pathology alone versus those who have both Alzheimer’s and Lewy bodies. Participants with Alzheimer’s and Lewy bodies had an earlier onset of dementia, earlier age at death, and a greater likelihood of being diagnosed with LBD during life.
They also experienced more neuropsychiatric symptoms, specifically delusions and hallucinations, as well as greater problems with movement. This suggests that the clinical traits of individuals with AD with Lewy bodies is probably similar to that of DLB.