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PSP & Atypical Parkinsonism Support Group

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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, PT, 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 of levodopa in individuals with Parki... Read More

Specialties:

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

Locations:

Health Profession Education Building
University of Utah Balance and Mobility Clinic
801-587-9161

Heather A. Hayes, PT, PhD, 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, balance and vestibular disorders.... Read More

Specialties:

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

Locations:

Health Profession Education Building 801-587-9161

Stefan M. Pulst, MD, 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 Medizinische Hochschule, Hannover (Germany) and at Harvard Medical School, Boston. Aft... Read More

John D. Rolston, MD, PhD

Dr. John Rolston is a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist at the University of Utah, where he is the Director of Epilepsy Surgery and Director of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. Clinically, he specializes in epilepsy surgery, deep brain stimulation (DBS) for movement disorders (Parkinson’s, dystonia, tremor), trigeminal neuralgia, and neuromo... Read More

Perla C. Thulin, MD

Patient Rating:

4.7

4.7 out of 5

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

Patient Rating:

4.8

4.8 out of 5

Meghan Zorn, PA-C, is a Physician Assistant, seeing patients with movement disorders. She has expertise in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Multiple System Atrophy, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Essential Tremor and Huntington’s disease. She has extensive experience with Deep Brain Stimulation for the treatment of ... 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
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