20 doctors weighed in:
Are there tests to confirm the doctor's diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies?
20 doctors weighed in

Dr. Eric Anderson
Psychiatry
15 doctors agree
In brief: Dementia
Unfortunately, the only definitive test for dementia with lewy bodies (dlb) is to obtain brain tissue.
Thus, most confirmations come following autopsy. Imaging studies, such as mri's, fmri's, and pet scans can provide helpful information to support the diagnosis, but at this time dlb remains primarily a diagnosis based upon clinical findings.

In brief: Dementia
Unfortunately, the only definitive test for dementia with lewy bodies (dlb) is to obtain brain tissue.
Thus, most confirmations come following autopsy. Imaging studies, such as mri's, fmri's, and pet scans can provide helpful information to support the diagnosis, but at this time dlb remains primarily a diagnosis based upon clinical findings.
Dr. Eric Anderson
Dr. Eric Anderson
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Dr. Susan Uhrich
Psychiatry
6 doctors agree
In brief: Not practical.
The diagnosis can only be confirmed by examining a piece of brain tissue.
Hence, the diagnosis is only confirmed after death.

In brief: Not practical.
The diagnosis can only be confirmed by examining a piece of brain tissue.
Hence, the diagnosis is only confirmed after death.
Dr. Susan Uhrich
Dr. Susan Uhrich
Thank
Dr. K. Olson
Psychiatry
5 doctors agree
In brief: PET scan
At this point no affordable test per se.
Slowly advancing memory problems, and parkinson symptoms are common. Intermittent psychosis, paranoia and delirium occur as distinguishing symptoms different from what is more typically seen in alzheimer's disease. A vacuous anxiety state has also been described. Pet would show reduced activity in posterior parietal region. Lewy body inclusions on pathology.

In brief: PET scan
At this point no affordable test per se.
Slowly advancing memory problems, and parkinson symptoms are common. Intermittent psychosis, paranoia and delirium occur as distinguishing symptoms different from what is more typically seen in alzheimer's disease. A vacuous anxiety state has also been described. Pet would show reduced activity in posterior parietal region. Lewy body inclusions on pathology.
Dr. K. Olson
Dr. K. Olson
Thank
4 doctors agree
In brief: NO + Brief Details
No, clinical diagnosis only: physical parkinsonism that is milder than parkinson's disease typically (slow 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.

In brief: NO + Brief Details
No, clinical diagnosis only: physical parkinsonism that is milder than parkinson's disease typically (slow 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.
Dr. Robert Hutchman
Dr. Robert Hutchman
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Dr. Susan Uhrich
Psychiatry
3 doctors agree
In brief: Not practical
The only way to confirm that diagnosis is by examining a piece of brain tissue.
Hence the diagnosis is confirmed only after death.

In brief: Not practical
The only way to confirm that diagnosis is by examining a piece of brain tissue.
Hence the diagnosis is confirmed only after death.
Dr. Susan Uhrich
Dr. Susan Uhrich
Thank
In brief: BUT, 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.

In brief: BUT, 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.
Dr. Robert Hutchman
Dr. Robert Hutchman
Thank
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