Behavior Good Predictor Of Dementia With Lewy Bodies
(Best Syndication) Researchers in the US say that a simple personality test could help doctors detect dementia with Lewy bodies sooner. This form of dementia is often confused with Alzheimer’s disease because it shares characteristics with both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The researchers evaluated 290 people. The participants were tested every year for an average of about five years. By the end of the study 128 of the participants had confirmed cases of dementia with Lewy bodies, 128 had Alzheimer’s and 34 had no form of dementia. The researchers followed the participants through death, before conducting autopsies.
They found that even before a diagnosis, people with dementia with Lewy bodies displayed passive personality changes, including diminished emotional response, a disinterest in hobbies, repetitive behaviors, and a growing apathy or lack of interest, as compared to those with Alzheimer’s disease.
“Currently we mainly look for memory problems and other cognitive problems to detect dementia, but personality changes can often occur several years before the cognitive problems,” said study author James E. Galvin, MD, MPH, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, and member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Identifying the earliest features of dementia may enable doctors to begin therapy as soon as possible. This will become increasingly important as newer, potentially disease-modifying medications are developed. It also gives the patient and family members more time to plan for the progressive decline.”
By Marsha Quinn
Best Syndication Health Writer