Different pathology. Neurodegenerative d/o featuring milder physical parkinsonism than parkinson's disease typically. (slowed movements, stiff/rigid muscles & posture, possibly resting tremor). But with early dementia, often with associated psychosis (visual hallucinations, delusional thoughts), excessive sleepiness, depression/anxiety/apathy, & rbd. Rbd = rem behavior d/o, causing acting-out of dreams in rem sleep.
No. Lewy body dementia (dlb) isn't the same as alzheimer's dementia (ad), but the 2 can overlap. Dlb is associated with fluctuating cognitive difficulties, parkinsonism (slow movement, tremor, and rigidity, etc), and hallucinations. Ad patients show more gradual, cumulative decline in cognition. There are more overall behavioral symptoms with dlb compared to ad, especially hallucinations & apathy.
Good Rx available!!! Dopamine meds for physical parkinsonism: Azilect (mao-b selective inhibitor) & sinemet +/- Comtan (stalevo (carbidopa and levodopa and entacapone) is both together). Tailor rx watching for side effects. Avoid Dopamine agonists (requip xl/mirapex er/neupro)--too side effect prone for lewy body patients. For dementia: namenda, paired with Exelon patch or aricept. For psychosis: seroquel or even clozaril. For excess sleepiness: nuvigil.
Hallucinations etc. Both Alzheimer's disease (AD) & dementia w/Lewy bodies (DLB) are different types of dementia w/memory loss in common. DLB presents w/hallucinations earlier in its course compared to AD. DLB also has Parkinsonian features such as tremors & stiffness early on while Parkinson's disease presents in reverse. Check out http://www.alz.org/health-care-professionals/differential-diagnosis-lewy-bodies.asp. Read more...