Differences in clinical course between dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer’s disease

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Background and purpose: 

To investigate whether there may be differences in the clinical course and changes in cognitive progression between dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Methods: 

We compared the time from the first visit to endpoints (discontinuation of visits because of admission, death, or institutionalization) between 56 patients with DLB and 111 patients with AD. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores of patients were every 12 months examined up to 60 months. Results: 

Dementia with Lewy bodies had a significantly shorter time to reaching endpoints than those with AD (median time; 40 months vs. 52 months, P < 0.0001). The proportion of admission (or death) was significantly higher in DLB than in AD (30% vs. 14%, P < 0.05), while the difference in institutionalization in nursing homes did not reach statistical significance (25% vs. 17%). Rates of longitudinal MMSE score decline for DLB and AD groups were equivalent. Conclusion: 

Dementia with Lewy bodies had a greater risk of admission (or death) because of most commonly fall-related injuries and bronchopneumonia than AD, but the two groups did not differ in rate of cognitive decline.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; clinical course; dementia with Lewy bodies; progression

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-1331.2008.02388.x

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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