Depression in Dementia with Lewy Body

Dementia with Lewy Bodies is associated with higher scores on the Geriatric Depression Scale than Alzheimer’s disease

Angie Szumlinski Health

Several reports have suggested a higher morbidity of depression in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies than those with Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, those results have not been consistently duplicated. The psychiatric symptoms of dementia, such as depression, are important for its diagnosis and management. As a result, this study aimed to clarify the qualities of the depressive symptoms in DLB compared with AD using the Geriatric Depression Score (GDS).

The study noted the GDS score for 86 patients with probable DLB, based on professional criteria for diagnosis, and did the same for 86 with probable AD. These patients were matched according to age, sex, education, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) Scores. Correlations between GDS scores and the age, sex, or MMSE of the patients were also recorded. Additionally, correlations between GDS scores and metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphy were examined in patients with DLB. To characterize the GDS in DLB, its profile was examined using factor structures.

Depression-specific symptoms, like mood, worry, and future outlook, were more common in the dementia with Lewy body patients Click To Tweet

DLB patients had scores twice as high on the GDS as AD patients. There was no correlation between GDS score and age, sex, or MMSE scores in either group, nor between the results of MIBG scintigraphy and GDS scores in the DLB group. Depression-specific symptoms, like mood, worry, and future outlook, were more common in the DLP patients than non-specific symptoms, such as lethargy, decreased focus, and apathy.

The study concluded that depressive symptoms are highly specific of DLP, independent of other characteristic symptoms of the disorder. The GDS could be used as a subsidiary tool in differentiating DLP from AD and is more useful than clinical observations of depression.

Read about the study HERE.