Background: Quality of Life (QoL) is an important outcome measure in dementia, particularly in the context of interventions. Research investigating longitudinal QoL in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is currently lacking.
Objective: To investigate determinants and trajectories of QoL in DLB compared to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and controls.
Methods: QoL was assessed annually in 138 individuals, using the EQ5D-utility-score (0-100) and the health-related Visual Analogue Scale (VAS, 0-100). Twenty-nine DLB patients (age 69±6), 68 AD patients (age 70±6), and 41 controls (age 70±5) were selected from the Dutch Parelsnoer Institute-Neurodegenerative diseases and Amsterdam Dementia Cohort. We examined clinical work-up over time as determinants of QoL, including cognitive tests, neuropsychiatric inventory, Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and disability assessment of dementia (DAD).
Results: Mixed models showed lower baseline VAS-scores in DLB compared to AD and controls (AD: β±SE = -7.6±2.8, controls: β±SE = -7.9±3.0, p < 0.05). An interaction between diagnosis and time since diagnosis indicated steeper decline on VAS-scores for AD patients compared to DLB patients (β±SE = 2.9±1.5, p < 0.1). EQ5D-utility-scores over time did not differ between groups. Higher GDS and lower DAD-scores were independently associated with lower QoL in dementia patients (GDS: VAS β±SE = -1.8±0.3, EQ5D-utility β±SE = -3.7±0.4; DAD: VAS = 0.1±0.0, EQ5D-utility β±SE = 0.1±0.1, p < 0.05). No associations between cognitive tests and QoL remained in the multivariate model.
Conclusion: QoL is lower in DLB, while in AD QoL shows steeper decline as the disease advances. Our results indicate that non-cognitive symptoms, more than cognitive symptoms, are highly relevant as they impact QoL.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; dementia; dementia with Lewy Bodies; quality of Life.