Lack of orthostatic symptoms in dementia patients with orthostatic hypotension.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is common and increases with age. OH is part of the autonomic dysfunction in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Commonly OH is diagnosed when the patient falls which is a risk factor of premature death. Our objective was to systematically investigate the clinical symptoms associated with measurement of OH in different neurodegenerative dementias and normal controls (NC).
Methods: 154 patients [50 DLB, 50 Alzheimer’s disease (AD), 54 AD and vascular components (ADvasc)] were examined with systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements in supine position, immediately after standing up and after 1, 3, 5 and 10 min of standing. They were compared with 50 NC. Orthostatic symptoms were registered according to a predefined protocol.
Results: Twenty-seven percent of all the investigated individuals reported OH symptoms during the measurement while 43% fulfilled the criteria of OH. Sixty-three percent of orthostatic patients did not have any symptoms during the measurement. The prevalence of any orthostatic symptoms during the measurement differed significantly (p<0.001) between the diagnostic groups with 40% in DLB patients, 37% in ADvasc, 28% in AD and 2% in NC. The most frequent symptom was dizziness 13.7%.
Conclusions: Classical orthostatic symptoms are absent in the majority of dementia patients with OH. The orthostatic reaction must therefore be routinely measured in this patient group. This is particularly important for patients with DLB where falls as a result of OH are common.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurology


  • Dementia with Lewy bodies, Alzheimer’s disease, Orthostatic symptoms, Orthostatic hypotension, Falls
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch