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Quality of Life Varies for Patients With Dementia With Lewy Bodies, AD

June 10, 2019

Patients with dementia with Lewy bodies have a lower quality of life compared to patients with Alzheimer disease who experience a steeper decline in quality of life (QoL) as the disease advances, according to a recent study. Authors published their findings online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.  

“[QoL] is an important outcome measure in dementia, particularly in the context of interventions,” wrote lead researcher Marleen van de Beek, PhD candidate, and colleagues. “Research investigating longitudinal QoL in dementia with Lewy bodies is currently lacking.” 

In order to better understand the determinants and trajectories of QoL in patients with dementia with Lewy Bodies compared to Alzheimer disease and controls, Ms van de Beek and colleagues assessed 138 study participants. The research team used the EQ5D-utility-score as well as the health-related Visual Analogue Scale.  

The study authors identified 29 patients with dementia (age 69±6), 68 Alzheimer disease patients (age 70±6), and 41 controls (age 70±5). They examined clinical work-ups over time as the determinants of QoL. The researchers examined:

  • cognitive tests;
  • neuropsychiatric inventory;
  • Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS); and
  • disability assessment of dementia (DAD).  

According to the study findings, there was a lower baseline in Visual Analogue Scale sores in patients with dementia with Lewy Bodies compared to Alzheimer disease (AD: β±SE = -7.6±2.8, controls: β±SE = -7.9±3.0, P < 0.05). Further, the researchers found that between diagnosis and time since diagnosis, there was a steeper decline for the Visual Analogue Scale sores for patients with Alzheimer disease compared to those with dementia (β±SE = 2.9±1.5, P < 0.1). The researchers noted that there was no difference in EQ5D-utility-scores between the study groups.

The researchers also observed higher GDS and lower DAD-scores that were associated with lower QoL in patients with dementia. Finally, there were no associations between cognitive tests and QoL.  

“QoL is lower in [dementia with Lewy Bodies], while in [Alzheimer disease] QoL shows steeper decline as the disease advances,” Ms van de Beek and colleagues conclude. “Our results indicate that non-cognitive symptoms, more than cognitive symptoms, are highly relevant as they impact QoL.”

Julie Gould  


van de Beek M, van Steenoven I, Ramakers IHGB, et al. Trajectories and Determinants of Quality of Life in Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Alzheimer’s Disease [published online June 6, 2019]. J Alzheimers Dis. doi: 10.3233/JAD-190041

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