Longitudinal testing of visual perception in dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease

Authors

  • Joshua S. Wood,

    Corresponding author
    • Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
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  • Rosie Watson,

    1. Wolfson Research Centre, Institute for Ageing and Health, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
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  • Michael J. Firbank,

    1. Wolfson Research Centre, Institute for Ageing and Health, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
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  • Urs P. Mosimann,

    1. Wolfson Research Centre, Institute for Ageing and Health, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
    2. Department of Old Age Psychiatry, University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
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  • Robert Barber,

    1. Wolfson Research Centre, Institute for Ageing and Health, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
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  • Andrew M. Blamire,

    1. Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
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  • John T. O'Brien

    1. Wolfson Research Centre, Institute for Ageing and Health, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
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Correspondence to: J. S. Wood, BSc, E-mail: josh.wood@ncl.ac.uk

Abstract

Objectives

Visuo-perceptual abnormalities are a prominent feature in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and also occur in Alzheimer's disease (AD) to a lesser extent. We studied the progression of visuo-perceptual abnormalities over a 12-month period in DLB and AD by using a novel computerised test battery.

Methods

Following our previous work using the Newcastle Visual Perception (NEVIP) battery, we re-assessed 16 AD, 12 DLB and 28 similar-aged comparison participants 12 months after initial baseline assessment.

Results

DLB visual perception at follow-up showed worse performance than AD (U = 43, p = 0.027); however, there were no significant changes in visuo-perceptual scores between baseline assessment and 12-month assessment within groups. A poor baseline score on the NEVIP predicted subsequent deterioration on the Bristol Activities of Daily Living Scale (rs = −0.725, p = 0.014) in DLB participants but not in the AD group.

Conclusions

The NEVIP is a reliable test of visuo-perception, relatively independent of cognitive decline, with predictive value in identifying DLB participants at risk of functional decline. Visuo-perceptual dysfunction is a core feature of the disorder for some DLB patients and was stable over the 12-month period examined here. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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