Diffuse Lewy Body Disease

Diffuse Lewy Body Disease (DLBD)

Diffuse Lewy Body Disease (DLBD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterised by a wide range of cognitive, behavioural, and motor impairments. DLBD is caused by a progressive buildup of Lewy bodies, protein aggregates that are clusters of defective proteins that accumulate within cells of the brain. It is these abnormalities which lead to the neurological problems experienced by people with DLBD.

Symptoms of DLBD can include:

  • Impaired memory
  • Impaired executive functioning abilities and problem solving
  • Visual and perceptual impairments
  • Psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations
  • Motor impairments (e.g. difficulty walking)
  • Sleep disorders (e.g. REM sleep behaviour disorder)
  • Mood changes such as depression

Diagnosis of DLBD is usually done through a comprehensive neurological exam and various neurological tests (e.g. MRI or CT scan) that can help to identify the presence of Lewy bodies in the brain. Treatment strategies for DLBD typically involve medications such as anticholinergics, cholinesterase inhibitors, and antipsychotic medications. Additionally, various supports and therapies (e.g. physical therapy, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy) and lifestyle modifications (e.g. healthy diet, regular exercise) can be beneficial.