A thorough examination and patient history should be conducted by an experienced clinician at the time of the initial assessment. The following are important components of making an LBD diagnosis:
Brief cognitive assessment of both amnestic and non-amnestic cognitive decline. The Folstein Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) are two validated and widely used instruments.
Screening for psychiatric symptoms, mood and sleep disorders.
Blood tests to exclude treatable disorders of dementia, such as hypothyroidism and vitamin B12 deficiency.
Imaging tests, such as a CT or MRI, mainly to exclude structural causes such as stroke or tumor. Dopamine imaging with SPECT can help differentiate between LBD and Alzheimer’s disease in equivocal cases.
- Comprehensive neuropsychological testing.
Clinical follow-up should be done in 6 month intervals or as needed whenever changes are reported by the patient or family.
For additional information, read the expanded handout: LBD Diagnosis