Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit, the AAFP patient education website.

Information from Your Family Doctor

Dementia with Lewy Bodies


Am Fam Physician. 2006 Apr 1;73(7):1230.

  See related article on dementia with Lewy bodies.

What is dementia with Lewy bodies?

Dementia (duh-MEN-shuh) with Lewy bodies is the second most common form of dementia (behind Alzheimer’s disease). People who have dementia with Lewy bodies have trouble with everyday activities. They may get lost or confused in familiar places and see things or people that aren’t there. They may shake, lose their usual facial expressions, and move slowly. They also may feel sad and have vivid and sometimes violent dreams.

How can my doctor tell if I have this type of dementia?

There are no tests that diagnose this disease. Your doctor will ask for a history of the problem, especially from your family members. Your doctor also might do some tests to help rule out other diseases.

How is dementia with Lewy bodies treated?

Your doctor can help you make a list of symptoms that are most troubling and treat those first, if possible. There is no cure for this disease; patients slowly get worse. However, some medicines can help.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor

Lewy Body Dementia Association

Web site:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Web site:

The Lewy Body Dementia Directory

Web site:

This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.


Copyright © 2006 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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