Penn Medicine’s Howard Hurtig, MD Discusses Recognizing the Differences of Alzheimer’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia in his recent PsychCentral Feature

A recent PsychCentral article featuring Penn Medicine’s Howard Hurtig, MD, Chair, Department ofNeurology, Pennsylvania Hospital and Clinical Core Leader of Penn’s Udall Center for Parkinson’s Disease Research, discusses the importance of differentiating between the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and its lesser-known cousin, Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).

lbdaNot only does the general public know less about LBD, but physicians also often misdiagnose it as Alzheimer’s disease. While both are indeed neurodegenerative diseases associated with aging, the difference is the LBD affects the areas of the brain that are responsible for behavior, memory, movement, and personality, while Alzheimer’s primarily affects the areas of the brain that control learning and memory. However, that is not the only difference between the two diseases.

According to PsychCentral’s quote from Dr. Hurtig, “while symptoms of LBD may be similar to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, the treatment strategy is more challenging because fewer medications can be used safely.” Because some drugs that are prescribed for Alzheimer’s disease can be very harmful to those with LBD, Hurtig stressed that one of the most important things in recognizing the difference between these diagnoses is to ensure the patient is avoiding all medications that may worsen symptoms.

The full article is available here.

Image courtesy of Lewy Body Dementia Association via PsychCentral.

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