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