What is Lewy Body Dementia?

What is Lewy Body Dementia

When most people think “LBD,” they think “little black dress.” They think of something fun and cute to go out in, or that Jennifer Aniston wore one on the red carpet.

Unfortunately, though, there is another LBD that has some connotations that aren’t so fun and flashy. LBD also stands for Lewy body dementia, a condition that is sometimes linked to Parkinson’s disease.

Cause of Lewy Body Dementia

In the early 20th century, a man named Friederich H. Lewy was doing research on the human brain and its various conditions when he discovered that some abnormal protein deposits can grow there.

These protein deposits can interfere with the way the brain normally works, settling in the brain stem where they disrupt the function and production of dopamine in the brain. This disruption causes Parkinson’s symptoms like tremors.

The protein deposits can also spread out across the brain and deplete another chemical called acetylcholine. This causes problems with behavior, thinking, and perception, which leads to what was eventually termed Lewy body dementia.

Diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy body dementia can exist on its own, or it can be a part of another brain disorder, like Parkinson’s (as mentioned before) or Alzheimer’s disease. Many times, though, Lewy body dementia is misdiagnosed as one of these other conditions, because the symptoms and manifestations are so similar. This can cause problems because to treat an illness, you have to first know exactly which illness you are dealing with.

In spite of often being mistaken for other diseases, though, Lewy body dementia is heartbreakingly common. At any given time, over 1.4 million people in the United States alone must deal with the condition, and those are just the ones who have been correctly diagnosed. Correct diagnosis usually takes place at least a year or two after the condition first appears, as there are initially very few signs that something is wrong. It isn’t until the symptoms begin to pile up and worsen that a true diagnosis can be made (and that someone else notices that there is a problem).

Symptoms and Signs of Lewy Body Dementia

While the symptoms of Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s are different in the very early stages, as the illnesses progress, their symptoms become very similar. For example, both conditions bring on insomnia, confusion, tremors, muscle stiffness, and mood disorders. This is why it is often very difficult to tell the difference between them or to realize that they are both affecting the brain at the same time.

Treatment of Lewy Body Dementia

Unfortunately, Lewy body dementia is an illness that cannot be cured. It will get progressively worse over time, and there isn’t a lot that you as your loved one’s elderly care provider can do to stop it.

However, an early diagnosis is key, because the sooner treatment begins, the longer your loved one can live a comfortable, independent life. Again, while there is no “cure,” there are many medications that can help to curb symptoms such as extreme mood swings. This will make the condition easier for your loved one to live with, and will help to keep the loved one you know as you know them for longer.

Contact Sonas for Home Health Care Services

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in FL, contact the caring staff at Sonas Home Health Care. Call today (888) 592-5855.

Source
https://www.lbda.org/go/what-lbd

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