In this condition, protein deposits of Alpha-synuclein called lewy bodies develop in nerve cells in brain regions involved in memory, reasoning, perception, thinking, behavior and movement. Many people with DLB experience movement symptoms such as hunched posture, rigid muscles, shuffling walk and trouble initiating movement. Lewy body dementia is the second most common kind of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease that gradually causes decline in mental ability. It may sometimes causes visual hallucination and unusual behaviors such as having conversations with deceased loved ones. It sometimes exists in pure form, or with other brain changes, including those commonly observed in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
Lewy body dementia (LBD) affects about 1.3 million people in the U.S., according to the Lewy Body Dementia Association. Epidemiologic data on dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) remain limited in the United States. The data is essential to guide research and clinical or public health interventions. A study was performed to investigate the incidence of DLB among residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota from 1991 through 2005 (15 years). Among 542 incident cases of parkinsonism, 64 had DLB. The incidence rate of DLB was 3.5 per 100000 person-years overall, and it increased steeply with age. Patients with DLB were younger at onset of symptoms and had hallucinations and cognitive fluctuations. Men had a higher incidence of DLB than women across the age spectrum.