The Lewy Body Society response to the Prime Minister’s 19 June statement on that a “big, bold global push” is needed to beat dementia.



Alzheimer’s is not the only dementia

The Lewy Body Society applauds the Prime Minister’s 19 June statement on that a “big, bold global push” is needed to beat dementia, which he described as one of the “greatest enemies of humanity”. The Society, whose mission is to support research and raise awareness of Lewy Body Dementia , welcomes the announcement of £100m to be spent on research.
The government’s commitment to find a cure by 2025 has helped enormously to raise awareness of dementia and lessen the stigma attached to it in recent years.
It is vital, however, that this raised awareness includes the fact that there is more than one type of dementia .
Most people believe that Alzheimer’s is the only dementia. It is the most common form, affecting 60% of all cases of dementia but other dementias, such as those caused by Lewy bodies (Dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia) or strokes (vascular dementia) or fronto-temporal dementia ( caused by shrinkage of cells in that lobe of the brain) account for the other 40%.
Accurate differential diagnosis is necessary in order for people to be treated appropriately. Whereas Alzheimer’s primarily affects memory, people with Lewy body dementia experience visual hallucinations, extreme fluctuations in consciousness , movement disorders and a potentially fatal sensitivity to antipsychotic drugs . Lewy body dementias affect more than 130,000 people in the UK.
“Dementia as a public health issue today is in a similar position to that of cancer 25 years ago,” said Lewy Body Society founder and Chair, Ashley Bayston. “ Until recently people were reluctant to speak openly about it and there is stigma arising from fear and ignorance. We now recognise that there are many different types of cance; similarly there are different types of dementia. With a population bulge of aging baby boomers, more people now face the reality of possible dementia.”
According to LBS President, Professor Ian McKeith of Newcastle University, “dementia isn’t always memory and isn’t only memory”.
The more people who know, the fewer people who suffer.
Media enquiries to Ashley Bayston, email:, tel 07770 930784
Notes for editors
1. Founded in 2006 the Lewy Body Society (registered charity 1114579) is the only charity in Europe exclusively in aid of Lewy Body Disease. For information and help: telephone 0131 473 2385; website:
2. Lewy body dementia accounts for 10-15 per cent of all dementia cases. See: McKeith IG, Galasko D, Kosaka K, et al. Consensus guidelines for the clinical and pathologic diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB): Report of the Consortium on DLB International Workshop. Neurology. 1996;47:113-24.