Diffuse Lewy body disease

Diffuse Lewy Body Disease, or Lewy Body Dementia, is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by cognitive impairment. The patient’s alertness and attention may vary greatly from hour to hour and day to day, with degeneration of motor functionality similar to Parkinsonism. It can be accompanied by anxiety and/or depression, and can lead to recurring visual hallucinations. After Alzheimer's disease, it is the second most common cause of dementia, and shares pathology with both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

“Lewy bodies” are abnormal accumulations of a protein called alpha-synuclein within nerve cells found in the structures of the brainstem, which is responsible for the control of body movement, and the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain which regulates mental function.

There are no tests to definitively diagnose Diffuse Lewy Body Disease and there is no clear evidence showing it is genetic in nature, but heredity is still believed to factor into its cause.

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