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What is DLB?

What is dementia with Lewy bodies? Get a clear description from Dr Jon Schott and Professor Robert Howard

Watch Professor Jon Schott and Professor Robert Howard describe the main features of dementia with Lewy bodies.

  • DLB is the second most common cause of dementia in elderly people

  • Features include motor symptoms (similar to Parkinsonism) and cognitive fluctuations

What are Lewy bodies?

Lewy bodies are tiny abnormal collections of a protein called alpha-synuclein that develop inside brain cells. The term Lewy body comes from the neurologist Dr Frederic Lewy who discovered the inclusion bodies in 1912.

When you look under the microscope at brain tissue of someone who has dementia there are different changes that might be seen, and this is known as histopathology. In Alzheimer’s disease, the histopathology includes the amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tau tangles that we learned about in Week 1. In frontotemporal dementia there are a number of different proteins that can build up and cause symptoms (such as tau, ubiquitin and FUS). In dementia with Lewy bodies, the characteristic histopathological feature is the abnormal aggregation of alpha-synuclein in the form of Lewy bodies.

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The Many Faces of Dementia

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