Disease Progression and Longitudinal Clinical Outcomes of Lewy Body Dementia in the Nacc Database

Neurology and Therapy, 2023


As the identification of Lewy body dementia (LBD) is often confirmed postmortem, there is a paucity of evidence on the progression of disease antemortem. This study aimed to comprehensively assess the course of LBD over time across cognitive, functional, and neuropsychiatric outcomes using real-world data.


Adults with at least one visit to an Alzheimer's Disease Center with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment/dementia (index date), indication of LBD, and at least one follow-up visit were identified in the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center database (September 2005-June 2020). Participant characteristics, medication use, comorbidities, and changes in outcomes were assessed over a 5-year follow-up period and stratified by disease severity based on the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR®) Dementia Staging Instrument-Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB) score at index.


A total of 2052 participants with LBD (mean age at index 73.4 years) were included (mild, 219; moderate, 988; severe, 845). Mean annualized increase over 5 years was 0.9 points for CDR-Global Score, 5.6 points for CDR-SB, 10.4 points for the Functional Activities Questionnaire, and 2.0 points for the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Questionnaire. Disease progression was greater among participants with moderate and severe LBD at index compared with those with mild LBD.


Participants with LBD experienced decline across all outcomes over time, and impairment increased with disease severity. Findings highlight the substantial clinical burden associated with LBD and the importance of earlier diagnosis and effective treatment. Further research is needed to understand the predictors of cognitive and functional decline in LBD which may help inform clinical trials.

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Chandler J, Georgieva M, Desai U, Kirson N, Lane H, Cheung HC, Westermeyer B, Biglan K