Variables which distinguish patients fulfilling clinical criteria for dementia with Lewy bodies from those with Alzheimer's disease

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1997 Mar;12(3):314-8.


Objectives: To compare patients fulfilling clinical criteria for Lewy body dementia with those meeting clinical criteria for Alzheimer's disease.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: Psychiatric services and a memory clinic.

Sample: 124 patients with DSM-III-R dementia.

Measures: The assessment included the GMS/HAS/SDS package, the CAMCOG, the Cornell Depression scale and the Burns Symptom Checklist. Dementia was diagnosed according to DSM-III-R, NINCDS ADRDA, McKeith, Byrne, Hachinski and HAS AGECAT criteria.

Results: Patients meeting McKeith et al. criteria for senile dementia of Lewy body type were significantly more likely to have clouding of consciousness, significant Parkinsonian symptoms and less severely impaired recent memory than patients with NINCDS ADRDA Alzheimer's disease. Each of these variables also distinguished patients meeting Byrne et al.'s criteria for dementia with Lewy bodies from those with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

Conclusions: It is suggested that one set of criteria could encompass those overlapping groups of patients. Work is needed to further develop the diagnostic criteria for Lewy body dementia.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / classification
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dementia / classification
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parkinson Disease / classification
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis*
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales