Bettschart & Kofler Kommunikationsberatung GmbH
Bettschart & Kofler Kommunikationsberatung GmbH
Dr. Birgit Kofler
Phone: +49-30-700 159 676
  • dementia
  • neurology
  • health
  • medicine
  • WFN
  • WCN
Thu, 21.09.2017
ptp20170921007 Health/Medicine, Science/Technology
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Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) patients suffer more frequently from gastrointestinal dysfunction
XXIII WCN 2017, Kyoto, Japan, 16-21 September 2017

Kyoto (ptp007/21.09.2017/09:00) - Patients with Lewy body dementia are significantly more likely to suffer from disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract than those with Parkinson's. This is the conclusion of a study presented at the XXIII World Congress of Neurology. The major scientific conference is taking place from September 16-21 in Kyoto. "Our data could indicate that this form of dementia leads to acute intestinal pseudo obstructions in older patients," noted study author, Associate Professor Ryuji Sakakibara from Toho University's Sakura Medical Center in Japan.

Lewy body dementia is the second most common age-related form of neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer's. Although there are no precise numbers on incidence and prevalence, experts estimate that around one in every five cases of dementia are attributable to the abnormal aggregates of protein in the brain named after German neurologist Friedrich H. Lewy. These proteins are abnormally altered by the attachment of phosphate and, among other things, supress the production of the chemical messenger dopamine. Lewy bodies could also play a role in Parkinson's disease. Although it is only possible to determine the presence of protein deposits with absolute certainty post mortem, the main symptoms of Lewy body dementia are now so well researched that it is possible to reliably diagnose the disease as distinct from other forms of dementia. Lewy body dementia is typically associated with significant fluctuations in symptoms, as well as greater incidence of hallucination than in Alzheimer's. Oversensitivity to neuroleptics and L-Dopa can be another indication.

One aspect of the disease that has been less-well researched is its attendant symptoms, including its impact on the gastrointestinal tract and the digestive system. As the study showed, patients with Lewy body dementia are significantly more likely to suffer from gastrointestinal problems than previously thought. Within the Japanese study a group of patients with an average age of 77 underwent a gastric emptying test and a colonic transit time test - the results of which were subsequently compared with those of 46 Parkinson's patients. It became apparent that it took an average of 63.2 minutes for the dementia patients' stomachs to empty, which took significantly more time than the Parkinson's disease group who were able to empty theirs in around 10 fewer minutes. While gastric emptying took more than 75 minutes for 42.1 percent of the people in the first group, the same came only true of 15.2 percent of those in the Parkinson's group. In contrast, the researchers were unable to identify a significant difference in colonic transit time between the two groups.

Source: WCN 2017 Abstract Yakakibano et al, Gatrointestinal Dysfunction In Dementia With Lewy Bodies: A Comparison With Parkinson's Disease

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Contact: Dr. Birgit Kofler
Phone: +49-30-700 159 676
Bettschart & Kofler Kommunikationsberatung GmbH