What is Lewy Body Dementia ? (LBD)

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a progressive neurological disorder. Lewy body dementia is an umbrella term for two related diagnoses - Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

What is Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)

Lewy body dementia shares characteristics with both Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Like Alzheimer's, it causes confusion. Like Parkinson's, it can result in rigid muscles, slowed movement and tremors.

The earliest symptoms of these two diseases differ, but reflect the same underlying biological changes in the brain.

Over time, people with both diagnoses will develop very similar cognitive, physical, sleep, and behavioral symptoms.

The most striking symptom of Lewy body dementia may be its visual hallucinations, which can be one of the first signs of the disorder.

Hallucinations may range from abstract shapes or colors to conversations with deceased loved ones.


Lewy body dementia signs and symptoms may include:
  • Visual hallucinations. Seeing colors, shapes, animals or people may be one of the first symptoms of Lewy body dementia.
  • Movement disorders. Parkinson's-like signs may include slowed movement, rigid muscles, tremors or a shuffling walk.
  • Delusions. These may consist of false ideas about another person or situation.
  • Cognitive problems. Alzheimer's-like problems may include confusion, memory loss and reduced attention spans.
  • Sleep difficulties. A sleep disorder can cause you to physically act out your dreams while you're asleep.


After onset, Lewy body dementia typically causes severe dementia. The Parkinson's-like features and visual hallucinations tend to worsen with time. Average survival is about eight years after symptoms begin.

What is Dementia

Dementia and the Eight Types of Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia Association

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Bob DeMarco
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized Influencer, speaker, and expert in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Worldwide. The Alzheimer's Reading Knowledge Base contains more than 4,000 articles, and the ARR has more than 343,000 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
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