- Parkinson’s disease dementia is also known as Lewy body dementia.
- Lewy bodies are abnormal deposits of protein found in the outer layers of the brain and deep inside the midbrain and brainstem.
- This is the third most common type of dementia, after Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.
- 1.3 million people in the United States have Parkinson’s disease dementia.
- Motor and dementia symptoms usually occur within one year of each other.
- Progressive decline in memory and ability to think
- Difficulty interpreting visual information
- Fluctuating alertness and symptoms from moment to moment and day to day
- Delusions and vivid, visual hallucinations which are generally not frightening
- Problems with movement resembling Parkinson’s disease such as shuffling gait, balance difficulties, tremor, muscle stiffness, and slow movement
- Frequent falls
- Sleep disorder with vivid dreams and excessive movement while sleeping
- Daytime drowsiness
- No known cause or risk factors
- Age at diagnosis usually 50-85 years old
- Worsening of symptoms may be seen after anesthesia
- It can be difficult to diagnose because Parkinson’s disease dementia symptoms are similar to Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
- Memory medication may be used to help brain cells communicate with each other.
- Read the website document Memory Medications for more information.
- Patients with Parkinson’s disease dementia may have increased risk of side effects from medications.