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Non-Alzheimer ’ s Dementias. Scott Morgan MSIII December 2012. DSM-IV Definition of Dementia. Major impairment of memory and learning as well as one of: Impairment handling complex tasks Impairment in reasoning ability Impairment spatial ability and orientation Impaired language

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non alzheimer s dementias

Non-Alzheimer’s Dementias

Scott Morgan MSIII

December 2012

dsm iv definition of dementia
DSM-IV Definition of Dementia
  • Major impairment of memory and learning as well as one of:
      • Impairment handling complex tasks
      • Impairment in reasoning ability
      • Impairment spatial ability and orientation
      • Impaired language
  • Insidious and progressive onset
  • Symptoms interfere with relationships, work performance, and social activities
recognizing dementia
Recognizing Dementia
  • Memory loss rarely reported by patient
    • Spouse or family member usually reports
    • Family reported memory loss is a better predictor
  • Commonly thought to just be from aging
  • Insidious onset often causes a delay in reporting memory loss
  • Must be distinguished from delirium and depression
parkinson disease dementia
Parkinson Disease Dementia
  • Prevalence of dementia in Parkinson Disease (PD) patients is 41%
  • Mild cognitive impairment is common in PD
    • Does not always meet criteria for dementia
  • Genetic factors associated with Parkinson Disease Dementia (PDD)
    • Multiplications of alpha-synuclein gene
    • Microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) H1/H2 and MAPT H1/H1 genes
    • Epsilon 2 and epsilon 4 alleles of the apolipoprotein gene
early clinical features of pdd
Early Clinical Features of PDD
  • Executive dysfunction with deficiencies in:
    • Set shifting
    • Attention
    • Planning
  • Visuospatial impairment
    • Facial recognition problems
    • Impaired tone contrast
  • Verbal memory
    • Difficulty remembering words
    • Unable to explain their problems
late clinical features of pdd
Late Clinical Features of PDD
  • Psychosis
    • Visual hallucinations
    • Delusions
      • Spousal infidelity paranoia
  • Mood disorders
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Apathy
  • Sleep disturbances
    • Sleep fragmentation
    • Nightmares
    • REM sleep behavior disorder
      • Patient has normal dreams without the muscle atonia
treatment of pdd
Treatment of PDD
  • Cholinesterase inhibitors
    • Have a benefit for cognition
    • No evidence for improvement of neuropsychiatric symptoms
  • For psychosis
    • Quetiapine
    • Clozapine
  • Avoid anticholinergic medications
dementia with lewy bodies
Dementia with Lewy Bodies
  • Second most common degenerative dementia
    • 10-22% of all dementia cases
  • There have been familial cases, but most are sporadic
    • Multiplications of alpha-synuclein gene are associated with familial DLB
  • Only known risk factor is increased age
    • Mean age of onset is 75
  • Some studies show more likely in males
    • Still debated and evidence is not strong
lewy body
Lewy Body

Round eosinophilic intranuclear inclusion

Found in nuclei of neurons of substantia nigra

Aggregations of alpha-synuclein

Only detectable by postmortem biopsy

Do not show up on any scans

diagnosing dlb
Diagnosing DLB
  • Features of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson Disease
  • More rapid onset than Alzheimer’s
  • Can have amyloid plaques similar to Alzheimer’s
    • Not nearly as numerous as Alzheimer’s
  • Different from PDD by
    • Onset of dementia compared to parkinsonian symptoms
    • Before, during, or very shortly after parkinsonian signs
  • Can detect brain atrophy with MRI and PET scans
    • Not necessary for diagnosis but can provide supportive evidence
clinical features of dlb
Clinical Features of DLB
  • Very similar to PDD
  • Fluctuating cognition and alertness
    • Patients can “blank out” or lose consciousness
    • Episodes last from seconds to days
  • Visual hallucinations
    • Early sign in DLB compared to late in PDD
  • Parkinsonism
    • Gait disorders
    • Bradykinesia
    • Limb rigidity
treatment of dlb
Treatment of DLB
  • Treatments are just for symptoms
  • No treatment has been found to have disease modifying effects
  • Selegiline has been used as a treatment
    • Limited evidence for effectiveness
vascular dementia
Vascular Dementia
  • Aka multi-infarct dementia
  • Makes up 10-20% of dementia cases
  • Risk factors
    • Very weak evidence to show shared risk factors with cerebrovascular disease
    • Some evidence points to metabolic syndrome as a risk factor
    • Advanced age is a risk factor for dementia after a stroke or subclinical infarct
pathology of vad
Pathology of VaD
  • Large artery infarcts
    • Usually cortical but sometimes subcortical
  • Small artery or lacunar infarcts
    • Exclusive subcortical in small penetrating arteries
    • Affect basal ganglia, caudate, thalamus, internal capsule, cerebellum, and brainstem
  • Chronic subcortical ischemia
    • Small arteries in periventricular white matter
    • Order of vulnerability – neuron, oligodendrocyte, myelinated axon, astrocyte, endothelial cell
diagnosis of vad
Diagnosis of VaD
  • Neuroimaging
    • MRI is most sensitive
    • CT is usually first line scan
  • Step-wise loss of cognition and memory
    • Disease progresses with each ischemic event
    • Each progression can be large or small
clinical features of vad
Clinical Features of VaD

Specific to area affected

  • Medial frontal
    • Executive function
    • Apathy
  • Left parietal
    • Aphasia
    • Apraxia
    • Agnosia
  • Right parietal
    • Hemineglect
    • Confusion
    • Agitation
    • Visuopatial difficulty
    • Constructional difficulty
  • Medial temporal
    • Anterograde amnesia
frontotemporal dementia
Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Aka:
    • Picks Disease
    • Pick complex
    • Frontal lobe dementia
  • Age of onset is late 50s to early 60s
    • Average age is 58
  • As the name implies it is a degeneration of the frontal and temporal lobes
pick bodies
Pick Bodies

Build up of tau proteins in neurons

Cause neurons to swell and appear spherical

Silver staining for diagnosis

Help distinguish from other dementias

clinical features of ftd
Clinical Features of FTD
  • Unique because of personality changes
    • Aggressiveness
    • New onset of criminal activity
    • Socially inappropriate
    • Sexually inappropriate
  • Lack of insight
  • Progressive non-fluent aphasia
    • Word-finding difficulty and speech errors
  • Unusual eating patterns
    • Some patients will binge on alcohol
  • Incontinence
diagnosis and treatment of ftd
Diagnosis and Treatment of FTD
  • MRI is most common scan used to diagnose
  • Very little evidence to support pharmacological treatment
    • Used to treat symptoms
  • Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors used to be used for treatment but falling out of favor
  • SSRIs are used to treat depression if this is a symptom
  • Neuroleptics can be used but side effects must be weighed against benefits
  • Alzheimer’s dementia is most common dementia
  • Memory loss is the major hallmark of dementia
  • Dementias are often difficult to diagnose and treat
  • Diagnosis is mainly by clinical features rather than using imaging scans
  • Most treatments are for symptoms not disease modification

Hake, Ann Marie et al. Clinical Features and Diagnosis of Dementia with Lewy Bodies. Kluwer Health. October 2012. Accessed: 11/26/12

Hake, Ann Marie et al. Epidemiology, Pathology, and Pathogenesis of Dementia with Lewy Bodies. Kluwer Health. October 2012. Accessed: 11/26/12

Randolph, Christopher. Frontotemporal Dementia: Clinical Features and diagnosis. Kluwer Health. October 2012. Accessed: 11/26/12

Rodnitzky, Robert. Parkinson Disease Dementia. Kluwer Health. October 2012. Accessed: 11/26/12

Shalden, Marie-Florence et al. Evaluation of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia. Kluwer Health. October 2012. Accessed: 11/26/12

Wright, Clinton. Etiology, Clinical Manifestations, and Diagnosis of Vascular Dementia. Kluwer Health. October 2012. Accessed: 11/26/12