Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is one of the most common forms of dementia. Early diagnosis remains one of the cornerstones of managing this form of neurocognitive disorder but, often, making an early and accurate diagnosis can prove to be challenging. For this study, our goal was to review the utility of various neuroimaging modalities in making a swift and accurate diagnosis of DLB.
Materials and Methods:
We used PubMed as the search engine for this literature review. We have only considered studies performed within the past 10 years specifically on humans. Citations, year of study, and subject population were taken into consideration when selecting studies to review. Studies done on other species or older were not excluded. A total of 33 peer-reviewed articles were included in this study. Data collection has been done ethically and legally to the best of our knowledge.
After a thorough review, we can conclude that neuroimaging holds the key to an early and accurate diagnosis of dementia. Structural studies like CT scans help rule out various clinically relevant differentials, whereas MRI can provide detailed volumetric assessment and identify volume loss in particular regions of the brain, which is often characteristic of a specific etiology of dementia. Both modalities are easy to perform, widely available, and thus very useful for the early diagnosis of dementia. Afterward, more specialized studies like SPECT and PET can help arrive at a diagnosis by differentiating between other etiologies of the similar spectrum, which are otherwise very closely related and difficult to distinguish. This distinctly points towards a multimodal approach towards the diagnosis of DLB by integrating structural, metabolic, and molecular imaging techniques.Further study and research are required to increase the diagnostic accuracy when differentiating between Parkinson’s disease dementia, DLB, and other disorders of a similar spectrum to facilitate the early and accurate diagnosis of DLB, leading to better patient care.
There are no curative treatments available for DLB yet. Doctors and scientists across the globe agree that once such treatments are available, patients would most likely benefit from the initiation of treatment as early as possible, which makes early diagnosis of DLB a crucial factor. Diagnosis of DLB remains challenging, and statistics reveal that only 33% of cases are correctly diagnosed. Hence, the most crucial hurdle to overcome in the management of DLB lies in making an early diagnosis and accurately ruling out other possible differentials. Neuroimaging plays an integral role in the identification of these biomarkers.