James Leverenz, MD: Distinct Dementia Signs and Symptoms


The director of the Cleveland Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at Cleveland Clinic discussed the diagnostic differences between Lewy body dementia, Alzheimer disease, and other dementias, as well as the importance of proper identification.

“I think it is important that physicians recognize that people with Parkinson disease are at very high risk for developing dementia, and that it is different from Alzheimer disease. They’re not going to come in like your Alzheimer patient.”

Dementia, while often associated commonly with a number of specific diseases, encapsulates a group of diseases that present in a number of ways. Among these are Alzheimer disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson disease dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and a number of others.

Physicians working in this space are well aware of the challenges that present in identifying the proper dementia pathology at hand in a specific case. James Leverenz, MD, director, Cleveland Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Cleveland Clinic, told NeurologyLive that often, these patients will present with varied symptoms from condition to condition. He implored that physicians pay attention to these differences when attending to these patients.

In this interview, Leverenz spoke to the distinct differences between dementia with Lewy bodies, Alzheimer disease dementia, and Parkinson disease dementia, and what the key differences are between how these patients present and what challenges present in diagnosing them.

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