New Guidelines Should Help Doctors Do a Better Job of Diagnosing Lewy Body Dementia

New Guidelines Should Help Doctors Do a Better Job of Diagnosing Lewy Body Dementia
The advances scientists have made in identifying dementia symptoms include the hallmarks of Lewy body dementia, the third most prevalent kind behind Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. Scientists have also discovered biomarkers for diagnosing the disease, including the presence of the protein aggregates known as Lewy bodies that give the condition its name. The breakthroughs have led to new guidelines for diagnosing Lewy body dementia, or DLB. They are aiming at helping healthcare professionals diagnose DLB with more confidence, even in early stages of the disease when there are few symptoms. A key challenge of Lewy body dementia is diagnosing it. Struggling with a diagnosis makes it difficult for doctor, patient and patient's family alike. The new guidelines are spelled out in an article titled “Diagnosis and management of dementia with Lewy bodies Fourth consensus report of the DLB Consortium” in the journal Neurology. Professor Ian McKeith of Newcastle University in England led the guideline-rewriting effort, which included a number of experts in the field. McKeith is also a member of the Lewy Body Dementia Association's Scientific Advisory Council. "There is now a consensus amongst experts on DLB that certain symptoms, specifically REM sleep behavior disorder, and tests results, formal sleep study, and brain and cardiac imaging, are highly predictive for the presence of Lewy bodies in the brain," Jim Leverenz, the chair of the association's Scientific Advisory Council, said in a
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