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The Neurobehavior and Memory Clinic at Northwestern Medicine is affiliated with our center and offers clinical consultations to patients, families and providers, including diagnostic evaluations, second opinions and supportive services. 

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is diagnosed based on clinical symptoms, cognitive and neurological exam, and brain imaging. Spinal fluid exam may be necessary to rule out Alzheimer disease. 

Usually individuals with DLB and PDD do not have much shrinking (atrophy) in the brain on brain MRI. FDG-PET scan shows decreased metabolism in the back of the brain, and dopamine transporter scan (DaT scan) shows decreased uptake of injected dopamine in regions of the brain called the basal ganglia   

If difficulty with motor function occurs before psychiatric and cognitive changes, the diagnosis may be Parkinson Disease Dementia (PDD). This chart demonstrates how PDD and DLB are both caused by Lewy Body Disease and are considered Lewy Body Dementias.

Adapted from Definition of Lewy body disease, Lewy body dementia, Dementia with Lewy Body and Parkinson Disease Dementia (from Donaghy and McKeith, 2014) 


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