Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a type of dementia that shares symptoms with both Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. It is believed to account for around 10% of all cases of dementia and it tends to be mistakenly diagnosed quite often.
Lewy bodies are an underlying cause of several progressive diseases affecting the brain and nervous system, notably DLB and Parkinson's disease and together, these are sometimes called Lewy body disorders. The symptoms a person experiences depends partly on where the Lewy bodies are in the brain. Lewy bodies at the base of the brain are closely linked to problems with movement which are the main feature of Parkinson's disease. Lewy bodies in the outer layers of the brain are linked to problems with mental abilities (cognitive symptoms), which are characteristic of DLB.
About two thirds of people with DLB have movement problems when the condition is diagnosed, and this increases as it progresses. These symptoms are those of Parkinson's disease which include slowness and rigidity of movement with a blank facial expression. Walking is often stooped and shuffling, with problems balancing. Trembling of the limbs is also sometimes seen.
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