WebMD states that Lewy body dementia is the second most common form of dementia. It causes a continuous decline in mental functioning and may cause visual hallucinations in some patients. Hallucinations may include seeing deceased loved ones, which causes bizarre behavior in patients. Movement disorders, poor regulation of bodily functions, cognitive degeration, depression and fluctuating attention are all possible symptoms of Lewy body dementia.
Lewy body dementia is also known as dementia with Lewy bodies, diffuse Lewy body disease, cortical Lewy body disease and senile dementia of Lewy type, notes Wikipedia. Lewy body dementia is associated with Parkinson's disease and is identified by the presence of Lewy bodies. It is also detected by clumps of protein in the neurons of post mortem cadavers' brains. WebMD explains that visual hallucinations are common in Lewy body dementia, and patients often see colors, people, shapes and animals that are not actually present. Lewy body dementia causes a degeneration of the nervous system, so movement problems similar to those found in Parkinson's disease patients are often present. Symptoms similar to those seen in Alzheimer's disease patients are also common. Reduced attention span, confusion and memory loss are all symptoms of the progressive decline in cognitive functions. Psychological problems such as difficulty sleeping and depression are also commonplace in patients suffering from Lewy body disease.
The cause of Lewy body dementia is not known, according to the Mayo Clinic. The disease is progressive and usually results in death an average of eight years after onset.