Symptoms of Lewy Body DementiaPeople with Lewy body dementia often show more Parkinson's-like symptoms than do people with Alzheimer's. Parkinson's-like symptoms include slow movements, muscle rigidity (stiffness), tremors (shaking or trembling in one or more parts of the body), a shuffling walk, and frequent falls. People with Lewy body dementia also show Alzheimer's-like symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, delusions, and apathy or depression.
Three particularly disturbing symptoms set Lewy body dementia apart from other types of dementia:
- recurrent, vivid visual hallucinations that are difficult to separate from reality
- fluctuating alertness (The person may become extremely drowsy, then suddenly have a burst of energy, making it difficult for family members to evaluate how their relative is doing.)
- severe sleep problems, including acting out one's dreams or making sharp involuntary movements (Some people with Lewy body dementia accidentally hit their caregiver or fall out of bed while sleeping.)