AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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Three-Minute Test Effectively Diagnoses Lewy Body Dementia

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Although Lewy Body disease (LBD) is the second-most-common degenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease, it is poorly recognized. However, a neuroscientist from Florida Atlantic University recently developed the “Lewy Body Composite Risk Score” (LBCRS) to quickly and effectively diagnose LBD and Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) in about three minutes. The LBCRS is a brief rating scale that can be completed by a clinician to assess clinical signs and symptoms highly associated with the pathology of this disease. With this important tool, a clinician can assess whether the patient has bradykinesia, rigidity, postural instability, or rest tremor without having to grade each extremity. This simple, one-page survey provides structured, yes or no questions for six non-motor features that are present in patients with LBD, but are much less commonly found in other forms of dementia. The LBCRS study, published in the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, involved 256 patients who were compared with the clinical dementia rating and gold standard measures of cognition, motor symptoms, function and behavior. The test was administered in a “real-world” clinic setting with patients who were referred from the community, rather than in a research sample. The clinic sample had a mixture of gender, education, comorbidities, behavioral, affective, motor symptoms and diagnoses. The LBCRS was able to discriminate between Alzheimer’s disease and LBD with 96.8 percent accuracy, and provided sensitivity of 90 percent and specificity of 87 percent. To read more about this study, click here.

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