ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research

Visual symptoms in lewy body disorders

Project Members: Prabitha Urwyler, Urs P Mosimann
Project Start: 2012

Visual symptoms are common in Lewy body disorders and they include visual complaints, visuo-perceptual impairment or visual hallucinations. Lewy body disorders include Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). In these disorders most patients experience visual hallucinations during the course of the disease. The prevalence of visual hallucinations is 15-40 percent in PD, 30-90 percent in PDD, 60-90 percent in DLB. The risk factors most commonly associated with visual hallucinations in PD; PDD and DLB are cognitive impairment, visual impairment, sleep disorders, and medication. Visual symptoms are commonly underdiagnosed, because health professionals don’t ask and many patients do not volunteer to report them. If untreated, they contribute to patient and/or caregiver distress. In our research, we are studying and evaluating measures to quantify visual symptoms in clinical practice with a goal to develop possible treatment strategies.

Keywords: Visual complaints, visual impairment, visual hallucinations, lewy body, Parkinson's disease, Dementia with Lewy bodies


Urwyler, Prabitha; Nef, Tobias; Killen, Alison; Collerton, Daniel; Thomas, Alan; Burn, David; McKeith, Ian; Mosimann, Urs Peter (2014). Visual complaints and visual hallucinations in Parkinson's disease. Parkinsonism & related disorders, 20(3), pp. 318-322. Elsevier10.1016/j.parkreldis.2013.12.009

Urwyler, Prabitha; Nef, Tobias; Müri, René Martin; Killen, Alison; Collerton, Daniel; Burn, David; McKeith, Ian; Mosimann, Urs Peter (2015). Patient and Informant Views on Visual Hallucinations in Parkinson Disease. American journal of geriatric psychiatry, 23(9), pp. 970-976. Elsevier10.1016/j.jagp.2014.12.190

Urwyler, Prabitha; Nef, Tobias; Müri, René Martin; Archibald, Neil; Makin, Selina Margaret; Collerton, Daniel; Taylor, John-Paul; Burn, David; McKeith, Ian; Mosimann, Urs Peter (2016).Visual Hallucinations in Eye Disease and Lewy Body Disease. American journal of geriatric psychiatry, 24(5), pp. 350-358. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jagp.2015.10.007