Lewy bodies are abnormal aggregates of protein called alpha-synuclein that develop inside nerve cells in Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and some other disorders. There are two types of Lewy bodies disorders – dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia. The earliest signs of these two diseases differ but reflect the same biological changes in the brain. Over time, people with dementia with Lewy bodies or Parkinson’s disease dementia may develop similar symptoms which include:
1. Memory problems, poor judgment, confusion and other cognitive symptoms
2. Excessive daytime drowsiness.
3. Visual hallucinations.
4. Fluctuation of cognitive symptoms and level of alertness during the day or from one day to another.
5. Stiffness, shuffling walk, shakiness, lack of facial expression, and problems with balance and falls.
6. About 50 percent of cases, have a REM sleep disorder, which characterizes is people acting out their dreams, sometimes vividly and violently.