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Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is one of the most common types of progressive dementia. The central feature of DLB is progressive cognitive decline combined with three additional defining features:

  • Fluctuations in alertness and attention, such as frequent drowsiness, lethargy, lengthy periods of time spent staring into space, or disorganized speech;
  • Recurrent visual hallucinations, and
  • Parkinsonian motor symptoms, such as rigidity and the loss of spontaneous movement.

People may also suffer from depression. The symptoms of DLB are caused by the build-up of Lewy bodies—accumulated bits of alpha-synuclein protein—inside the nuclei of neurons in areas of the brain that control particular aspects of memory and motor control. Researchers don’t know exactly why alpha-synuclein accumulates into Lewy bodies or how Lewy bodies cause the symptoms of DLB, but they do know that alpha-synuclein accumulation is also linked to Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy, and several other disorders, which are referred to as the "synucleinopathies."

The similarity of symptoms between DLB and Parkinson’s disease, and between DLB and Alzheimer’s disease, can often make it difficult for a doctor to make a definitive diagnosis. In addition, Lewy bodies are often also found in the brains of people with Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s diseases. These findings suggest that either DLB is related to these other causes of dementia or that an individual can have both diseases at the same time. DLB usually occurs sporadically in people with no known family history of the disease. However, rare familial cases have occasionally been reported. Read More

Additional Resources:

Lewy Body Dementia Association

D. James Ballard, B.S., P.T., DPT

Jim’s chief clinical interests are Parkinson's disease rehabilitation, balance training, vestibular rehabilitation and male and female pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation. He is a member of the Deep Brain Stimulation Team at the University Health Sciences Center. In this capacity, he assesses the motor effects ... Read More

Specialties:

Balance/Vestibular, Geriatrics, Movement Disorders, Parkinson's Disease, Pelvic Dysfunction/Incontinence, Physical Therapy

Locations:

University Rehabilitation and Wellness Clinic (801) 587-9161

Heather A. Hayes, P.T., Ph.D., DPT

Heather Hayes, DPT, NCS, PhD is a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) with advanced certification as a neurologic clinic specialist (NCS). She specializes in the treatment and research of individuals with any neurological disorders, including but not limited to; Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsonsim, ALS, balanc... Read More

Specialties:

ALS, Balance/Vestibular, Geriatrics, Movement Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, Neurology, Physical Therapy, Stroke

Locations:

Health Profession Education Building (801) 587-9161

Paul A. House, M.D.

Paul A. House, MD surgically treats patients who suffer from epilepsy, movement disorders (including tremor, Parkinson’s disease, and dystonia), trigeminal neuralgia and brain tumors. His research interests include improving the “decoding” of movement information from the brain, understanding epileptic activity... Read More

Specialties:

Brain Tumors, Epilepsy Surgery, Functional Neurosurgery, Movement Disorders, Trauma - Neuro Critical Care, Trigeminal Neuralgia

Locations:

Clinical Neurosciences Center (801) 585-6065

Stefan M. Pulst, M.D., Dr. med.

Stefan-M. Pulst, MD, Dr med is Professor and Chair of Neurology. His clinical and research interests focus on inherited diseases of the nervous system with an emphasis on spinocerebellar ataxias and Parkinson´s disease.
He received his medical school training at ... Read More

Specialties:

Ataxia, Movement Disorders, Neurogenetics, Neurology, Parkinson's Disease

Locations:

Clinical Neurosciences Center (801) 585-7575

David R. Renner, M.D.

In 2002, Dr. Renner joined the Department of Neurology faculty, where he currently holds a position as an Associate Professor of Neurology. Dr. Renner is the Director of the Adult Neurology Residency Program, the course director for medical school neurosciences (NEUROSCIENCE), and the course master for medical ... Read More

Specialties:

EMG, General Neurology, HIV/AIDS, Movement Disorders, Neurology, Neuromuscular Diseases, Stroke

Locations:

Clinical Neurosciences Center (801) 585-7575

Rodolfo Savica, M.D.

Dr. Savica is a clinical faculty of Sleep and Movement Disorders Division within the Department of Neurology. He completed a movement disorders fellowship, a behavioral fellowship and a DBS fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester. His training and experience have been focused on evaluation and management of mo... Read More

Specialties:

Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry, Movement Disorders

Locations:

Imaging and Neurosciences Center (801) 585-7575

Lauren E. Schrock, M.D.

Lauren E. Schrock, MD joined the Department of Neurology in July 2009. Her clinical interests include movement disorders, with particular focus on dystonia and the surgical management of movement disorders. Dr. Schrock has a special interest in the neurophysiology of basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits and th... Read More

Specialties:

Botulinum Toxins, Deep Brain Stimulation, Dystonia, Intraoperative Monitoring, Movement Disorders, Neurology

Locations:

Imaging and Neurosciences Center (801) 585-7575

David R. Shprecher, D.O., M.S.C.I

David Shprecher, DO directs the Sleep and Movement Disorders Division within the Department of Neurology. Each of the movement disorders clinic faculty (Drs. Shprecher, Savica, Schrock and Thulin) completed two year movement disorders fellowships. Their training and experience have been focused on evaluation a... Read More

Specialties:

Faint and Fall, Movement Disorders, Neurology, Parkinson's Disease

Locations:

Imaging and Neurosciences Center (801) 585-7575

Perla C. Thulin, M.D.

Perla C. Thulin, MD, has special expertise and training in the evaluation and treatment of movement disorders, including Parkinson´s disease, essential tremor, chorea, hemifacial spasm, tics, and dystonia, including torticolllis and blepharospasm, and is an expert in the use of Botox and Myobloc.... Read More

Specialties:

Movement Disorders, Neurology

Locations:

Imaging and Neurosciences Center (801) 585-7575

Meghan S. Zorn, PA-C

Meghan Zorn, PA-C is involved in all aspects of the Deep Brain Stimulation Program, including pre-operative patient selection, medication management, intraoperative care, and post-operative programming. Meghan also educates patients, families, students, and clinicians about Deep Brain Stimulation and sees patien... Read More

Specialties:

Movement Disorders, Neurology, Parkinson's Disease, Physician Assistant

Locations:

Imaging & Neurosciences Center (801) 585-7575

University Campus/Research Park

Clinical Neurosciences Center 175 N. Medical Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84132
Map
(801) 585-7575
Imaging & Neurosciences Center 729 Arapeen Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Map
(801) 585-7575