Rongve, A. et al. BMJ Open 2016;6:e010357
Image shows autopsy case of Lewy body dementia showing eosinophilic neuronal inclusions
Objectives: We report the cognitive decline in persons diagnosed with mild dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) during 5 years of annual follow-ups.
Methods: Patients were recruited into the study from geriatric, psychiatric and neurology clinics in Western Norway during 2005–2013. They were diagnosed according to clinical consensus criteria, based on standardised clinical rating scales. Autopsy-based diagnoses were available for 20 cases. Cognitive decline for up to 5 years was assessed using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Survival analysis including Cox regression (time to reach severe dementia) and linear mixed-effects (lme) modelling were used to model the decline on MMSE.
Results: At least one follow-up assessment was available for 67 patients with DLB and 107 patients with AD, with a median follow-up time of 4.3 years. The time to reach severe dementia was significantly shorter in DLB (median 1793 days) compared with AD (1947 days; p=0.033), and the difference remained significant in the multiple Cox regression analysis (HR=2.0, p<0.02). In the adjusted lme model, MMSE decline was faster in DLB (annual decline 4.4 points) compared with AD (3.2 points; p<0.008).
Conclusions: Our findings show that from the mild dementia stage, patients with DLB have a more rapid cognitive decline than in AD. Such prognostic information is vital for patients and families and crucial for planning clinical trials and enabling health economic modelling.
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