Dementia with Lewy bodies – from scientific knowledge to clinical insights.


Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the underlying aetiology of 10-15% of all cases of dementia and as such is a clinically important diagnosis. In the past few years, substantial advances have been made in understanding the genetics and pathology of this condition. For example, research has expanded our knowledge of the proteinaceous inclusions that characterize the disease, has provided an appreciation of the role of disease-associated processes such as inflammation and has revealed an association between DLB and genes such as GBA. These insights might have broader relevance to other neurodegenerative conditions and are beginning to be translated into clinical trials. In this Review, we provide clinical insights for the basic scientist and a basic science foundation for the clinician. We discuss the history of the condition; the definition of DLB; the relationship between DLB and other neurodegenerative conditions; current understanding of the pathology, genetics, clinical presentation and diagnosis of DLB; options for treatment; and potential future directions for research.