Characteristics of visual hallucinations in Parkinson disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies

Mosimann, Urs P.; Rowan, Elise N.; Partington, Cassie E.; Collerton, Daniel; Littlewood, Elizabeth; O'Brien, John T.; Burn, David J.; McKeith, Ian G. (2006). Characteristics of visual hallucinations in Parkinson disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. American journal of geriatric psychiatry, 14(2), pp. 153-160. Elsevier 10.1097/01.JGP.0000192480.89813.80

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

OBJECTIVE Parkinson disease dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) have overlapping clinical and pathologic features. Recurrent visual hallucinations (RVH) are common in both disorders. The authors have compared details of hallucination characteristics and associated neuropsychiatric features in DLB and PDD. METHODS This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study using the Institute of Psychiatry Visual Hallucinations Interview (IP-VHI) to explore self-reported frequency, duration, and phenomenology of RVH in PDD and DLB. The caregivers' ratings of hallucinations and other neuropsychiatric features were elicited with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). RESULTS Fifty-six patients (35 PDD; 21 DLB) with RVH were assessed. Hallucination characteristics were similar in both disorders. Simple hallucinations were rare. Most patients experienced complex hallucinations daily, normally lasting minutes. They commonly saw people or animals and the experiences were usually perceived as unpleasant. NPI anxiety scores were higher in PDD. Neuropsychiatric symptoms coexisting with hallucinations were apathy, sleep disturbance, and anxiety. CONCLUSIONS Patients with mild to moderate dementia can provide detailed information about their hallucinations. Characteristics of RVH were similar in PDD and DLB, and phenomenology suggests the involvement of dorsal and ventral visual pathways in their generation. The coexistence of RVH with anxiety, apathy, and sleep disturbance is likely to impair patients' quality of life and may have treatment implications.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Mosimann, Urs Peter


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Pascal Wurtz

Date Deposited:

11 Jul 2014 10:55

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2014 10:55

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Visual hallucinations, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson disease dementia


Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback