What is Lewy body dementia?
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a common progressive brain disease that affects thinking, movement, behavior and sleep. Approximately 1.3 million Americans have LBD, but may not be correctly diagnosed because many doctors are unfamiliar with LBD. Most people see multiple doctors before receiving the final diagnosis of Lewy body dementia. Their first response is often, “Lewy what?”
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Lewy body dementia is a general term and includes both Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) (in which Parkinson’s disease is first diagnosed but a year or more later includes dementia) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) (which starts with dementia and is often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease, but may include Parkinson-like symptoms at the time of diagnosis or later). LBD symptoms include dementia, visual hallucinations and frequent variations in cognitive ability, attention or alertness. There are also changes in walking or movement, as well as a sleep disorder called REM sleep behavior disorder, in which people physically act out their dreams. LBD patients may also have a severe sensitivity to medications prescribed for hallucinations.
Many LBD symptoms are highly treatable and aggressive symptom detection and treatment can improve quality of life for both the person with LBD and their caregiver. Some Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s medications can help cognition, behavior and movement symptoms. Family caregivers are an important link in the partnership with healthcare professionals and also require significant support throughout the illness. For more information and to find support visit www.lbda.org.
Elizabeth Patrick is the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Lewy Body Dementia Association.
Posted: 1/29/2013 7:42:54 AM by
Browse current and archived blog articles written by caregivers, for caregivers.
Resources for People Who Care for Someone with Parkinson’s
I Don't Like Parkinson's, but I Love the People in My Life
Baby, oh Baby?
When the Caregiver Takes a Break
Arriving at Thriving
5 Disability Insurance Issues Worth Talking About
DBS: How it changed darkness into light
Family Caregivers Deserve Special Recognition
Saving $49,500 for a Good Night’s Sleep
Growing Up with Parkinson’s
I Wish I May, I Wish I Might
5 Grab-and-Go Healthy Snacks for Parkinson's Caregivers
5 Caregiving Tips for Lewy Body Dementia
How to Support a Caregiving Spouse: Three Tips from My Other Caregiving Half
Bobcats and Turtles
Build a Ramp
A Bathroom That Works
Lessons in Care, Lessons in Time
Welcome to CareZone
Dignity and Empathy in Caregiving
Notes from "Movers & Shakers with Parkinson": How You See Your Changing Roles
PD Inpatient "Care": Inept, Indifferent, Incompetent, Insufficient, Injurious
Caregiver Isolation as Cultural Disease
How to Take Care of the Caregiver
The Disregarded Costs of Agency Care
7 Tips for Hiring Good Caregivers
Parkinson's and Your Voice: The Essence of You
7 Ways a Care Recipient Can Help Alleviate Caregiver Burnout
Lessons Learned About Caregiving for a Person with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease
Communicating With Your Partner When Speech and Voice Are Declining
Long Distance Caregiving
Financial Planning Webinar for Caregivers
Caregiving Tool: A Home Healthcare Management System
Caregiver Sanity: Three Things I Try to Remember
Appreciating Family Caregivers
Good Body Mechanics for Caregivers by Kevin Lockette, PT
Taking the First Step in Your Own Care by Carol Levine