Lewy Body Dementia

© 2016           

By Keith S. Wexler, MBA, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Prenatal Diagnosis and Biotech Consultant, GENASSIST, Inc.

Paul Wexler, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., Medical Director, GENASSIST, Inc.

Clinical Professor, Department of OB/GYN, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Clinical Professor, Division of Genetics/Dept. of Pediatrics, Univ. of Colorado/The Children’s Hospital

 

Definitions:

  • Dementia: A chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury or marked by memory disorder, personality change or impaired reasoning.
  • Cortex: The outer layer of the cerebral cortex composed of folded gray matter
  • Subcortex: Tissue lying immediately below the cortex

Incidence:

  • Approximately 1 in 14 after 65 years of age
  • Approximately 1 in 8 after 80 years of age

Many risk factors increase likelihood of Dementia:

  • Increasing age
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Decreased exercise
  • Alcohol
  • Depression

Lewy Body Dementia: 2nd or 3rd most common cause of dementia secondary to Alzheimer’s and possibly Vascular Dementia.

Dr. Frederick Lewy worked with Dr. Alzheimer in the early 1900’s and described the protein in the brain identified in patients with this type of dementia.

Lewy Body Dementia may account for up to 10% of patients with dementia.

http://www.lbda.org/

Lewy Bodies contain alpha-synuclein protein – also found in some Alzheimer and Parkinson Diseases.

The LRRK2 gene (PARK8) on chromosome 12q12 and a new gene mutation E46K initially assigned to chromosome 4q have also been identified in Lewy Body Dementia.

7.6% had a GBA mutation on chromosome 1q12 also increases risk for RR Parkinson.

Symptoms:

  • Decline in thinking
  • Decline in reasoning
  • Decline in independent function
  • Possible movement disorders