Publication: Functional loss and worsening geriatric assessment parameters are more common in dementia with Lewy bodies than Alzheimer's disease.
The main aim of this study was to compare older patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) to those with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) according to their dependency in daily living activities and comprehensive geriatric assessment parameters.
A total of 227 AD and 123 DLB patients underwent a geriatric assessment that included comorbidities, number of drugs used, falls, urinary incontinence, hand grip strength, Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA), Tinetti Performance Oriented Mobility Assessment Scale, Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), and Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Basic and instrumental activities of daily living were assessed by the Barthel Index and the Lawton scale, respectively.
The mean age of the participants was 83.4 years, and 73% were female. There were no statistically significant differences between AD and DLB patients in age, gender, cognitive function, or comorbidities except for coronary artery disease (P < 0.05). The number of falls, drugs used, and ISI and Epworth scores were higher in patients with DLB than patients with AD (P < 0.05). DLB patients had lower MNA, Tinetti scale, and hand grip strength scores than AD patients. The ratio of patients highly dependent in basic daily activities as a whole was significantly greater in DLB than in AD (P < 0.05), but there was no significant difference in the overall levels of dependency in instrumental activities.
DLB patients are more dependent on their caregivers than AD patients. Nutritional deterioration, sleep disorders, falls, balance and gait problems, decreased muscle strength, and multiple drug use are more common in those with DLB compared to those with AD. The management of older patients with DLB may be more difficult than older patients with AD.