The key difference between Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia is that Lewy body dementia is a type of dementia that is due to brain damage caused by clumps built in the brain cells, while vascular dementia is a type of dementia that is due to brain damage caused by problems in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain.
Dementia is a broad term for symptoms of a large group of illnesses that affect the brain and cause a progressive decline in brain functioning. Dementia symptoms include memory loss, confusion, personality and behavioural changes. There are a number of dementia diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia, strategic infarct dementia, multi-infarct dementia, subcortical vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, alcohol-related dementia, younger onset dementia, etc.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Lewy Body Dementia
3. What is Vascular Dementia
4. Similarities – Lewy Body Dementia and Vascular Dementia
5. Lewy Body Dementia vs Vascular Dementia in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Lewy Body Dementia vs Vascular Dementia
What is Lewy Body Dementia?
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a type of dementia that is due to brain damage caused by clumps built in the brain cells. These clumps are made up of a protein called alpha-synuclein. These clumps usually occur in specific areas of the brain, causing changes in movement, thinking, and behaviour. LBD affects more than 1 million individuals in the United States. People normally show symptoms at the age of 50 or older, but sometimes younger people also show LBD symptoms. LBD affects more men than women. Moreover, Lewy body disease is an umbrella term for three conditions that include dementia with LBD, Parkinson’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease dementia. The risk factors for this condition may include age (older than 50 affected more), sex (men affected more than women), and family history (those with relatives who suffer from dementia with LBD or Parkinson’s disease affected more).
The symptoms of LBD include visual hallucinations, unpredictable changes in concentration, attention, alertness and wakefulness from day to day, severe loss of thinking abilities that interfere with daily activities, muscle rigidity, slow shuffling walk, tremor, balance problems, stooped posture, lack of coordination, smaller handwriting than was usual for the person, reduced facial expressions, difficulties in swallowing, weak voice, insomnia, depression, changes in body temperature, dizziness, fainting, frequent falls, sensitivity to heat and cold, sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence, constipation, and poor sense of smell.
This condition can be diagnosed through neurological and physical examination, assessment of mental abilities, blood tests, brain scans, heart tests, and emerging biomarkers. Furthermore, the treatments for LBD include medications such as cholinesterase inhibitors, Parkinson’s disease medications (carbidopa-levodopa), other medications for sleep and movement problems, therapies such as tolerating behaviour, modifying the environment, creating a daily routine and keeping tasks simple, and lifestyle and home remedies (speak clearly and simply, exercises, providing mind stimulation, creating opportunities for social activities, and establishing bedtime rituals).
What is Vascular Dementia?
Vascular dementia is a type of dementia that is due to brain damage caused by problems in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. It is usually caused by brain damage from impaired blood flow to the brain. Reducing blood flow to the brain may decrease the amounts of nutrition and oxygen the brain needs to perform thought processes effectively. The common conditions that may lead to vascular dementia include stroke, brain hemorrhage, and narrowed or chronically damaged brain blood vessels. The risk factors that trigger this condition include increasing age (affected after 65), history of heart attacks, strokes, ministrokes, abnormal aging of blood vessels, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and atrial fibrillation.
The symptoms of vascular dementia are confusion, trouble paying attention and concentration, reduced ability to organize thoughts, decline in the ability to analyze a situation, slowed thinking, difficulty with organization, difficulty in deciding what to do next, problems with memory, restlessness or agitation, unsteady gait, sudden or frequent urge to urinate, depression, and apathy. Moreover, vascular dementia can be diagnosed through medical history, blood tests (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, thyroid disorder, vitamin deficiency), neurological examination, brain imaging (MRI, CT scan), and neuropsychological test. Furthermore, the treatment options for vascular dementia include medication for treating hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, blood clotting prevention (anticoagulants), rehabilitation, lifestyle and home remedies (participate in regular physical activities, eat healthily, maintain normal body weight, engage in social activities, challenge the brain with games, puzzles and new activities, limit alcohol).
What are the Similarities Between Lewy Body Dementia and Vascular Dementia?
- Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia are two different types of dementia.
- Both types are due to problems in the brain.
- They can cause problems in the thought and movement of the people.
- Both types can be diagnosed through blood tests and neurological examinations.
- They are treated through specific medications, supportive therapy, lifestyle, and home remedies.
What is the Difference Between Lewy Body Dementia and Vascular Dementia?
Lewy body dementia is a type of dementia that is due to brain damage caused by clumps built in the brain cells, while vascular dementia is a type of dementia that is due to brain damage caused by problems in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. Thus, this is the key difference between Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia. Furthermore, Lewy body dementia is a less common type of dementia, while vascular dementia is the most common type of dementia.
The below infographic presents the differences between Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Lewy Body Dementia vs Vascular Dementia
Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia are two different types of dementia. Lewy body dementia is a type of dementia that is due to brain damage caused by clumps built in the brain cells, while vascular dementia is a type of dementia that is due to brain damage caused by problems in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. So, this is the key difference between Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia.
1. “Vascular Dementia.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
2. Bernstein, Susan. “Lewy Body Dementia (LBD): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.” WebMD.
1. “Lewy neurites alpha synuclein” By Jensflorian – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “BrainAtrophy(exvacuo)” By James Heilman, MD – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
Leave a Reply