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Vol. 32, No. 3, 2011
Issue release date: December 2011
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2011;32:202–208

Early and Presenting Symptoms of Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Auning E. · Rongve A. · Fladby T. · Booij J. · Hortobágyi T. · Siepel F.J. · Ballard C. · Aarsland D.
Departments of aGeriatric Psychiatry and bNeurology, Akershus University Hospital, Lorenskog, cDepartment of Psychiatry, Haugesund Hospital, Haugesund, and dDepartment of Geriatric Psychiatry, Psychiatric Clinic, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway; eDepartment of Nuclear Medicine, University of Amsterdam, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; fDepartment of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Psychiatry, and gWolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, King’s College London, London, UK; hNVS Department, KI Alzheimer Disease Research Center, Karolinska Institutet, Novum, Stockholm, Sweden; iDepartment of Neuropathology, Institute of Pathology, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary; jUniversity of Oslo, Ahus Campus, Oslo, Norway

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Background/Aims: To explore the presenting and early symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Method: Patients with mild dementia fulfilling diagnostic criteria for DLB (n = 61) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (n = 109) were recruited from outpatient dementia clinics in western Norway. At diagnosis, caregivers were asked which symptom had been the presenting symptom of dementia. Results: Caregivers reported that memory impairment was the most common presenting symptom in DLB (57%), followed by visual hallucinations (44%), depression (34%), problem solving difficulties (33%), gait problems (28%), and tremor/stiffness (25%). In contrast, 99% of AD carers reported impaired memory as a presenting symptom, whereas visual hallucinations were a presenting symptom in 3% of the AD cases. Conclusion: DLB should be suspected in predementia cases with visual hallucinations.

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