What is Lewy body dementia?

Lewy body dementia is a rare form of dementia whereby small round clumps of normal proteins called Lewy bodies (after their discoverer) become abnormally clumped together inside brain cells. Whether the Lewy bodies directly cause gradual damage to the brain cells, impairing their function and eventually killing them, or are only a marker of some other destructive process is not known.

Sarine Salama
Sarine Salama on behalf of MDLIVE
Lewy body dementia starts with wide variations in attention and alertness. Most people often experience visual hallucinations as well as muscle rigidity and tremors, similar to Parkinson's disease.

Lewy body dementia gets its name from the deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein that appear in the brain.

Lewy body dementia is similar to Alzheimer's, except, some symptoms of Parkinson's disease also are present.

In addition to memory loss, the patient may exhibit a shuffling gait, tremors and poor balance.

Continue Learning about Dementia



Dementia refers to loss of cognitive function that affects memory along with the ability to think, solve problems and control emotions. Dementia itself is not a disease, but describes a group of symptoms caused by a brain disorder...

. There are numerous causes of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, Huntingdon's disease and stroke. Since personality changes are common, living with dementia can be difficult for patients and caregivers alike. Learn more about dementia challenges and solutions with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.