What is Lewy Bodies Dementia?

What is Lewy Bodies Dementia?

What is Lewy Bodies Dementia?

Lewy Body Dementia is a degenerative neurological disease that is characterized by deposits in the brain that lead to progressive damage over time. These tiny deposits are considered “Lewy bodies” named after the doctor who first discovered them, Dr. Frederich Lewy. They are primarily composed of a protein named Alpha-synuclein. Incidentally, Lewy bodies can also be found in the brains of those who have Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. As a result, there is a distinction between Lewy bodies Dementia (LBD) and dementia with Lewy bodies.

Alzheimer’s disease is not always the same as Lewy bodies dementia. Likewise, Parkinson’s disease is not the same as LBD. The differences lie with the various kinds of symptoms that manifest with each condition. Alzheimer’s disease and LBD cause declines in memory and mental function. But Alzheimer’s disease impacts memory more, leading to noticeable forgetfulness. LBD, on the other hand, causes problems with executive functioning like planning and processing information.[1] Also, it is more common to experience visual hallucinations and attention problems with LBD than with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Although movement problems can arise with LBD, it is not the same as Parkinson’s. For Parkinson’s disease, motor problems like trembling, stiffness, slower walking, and problems with balance are usually diagnosed first before dementia-like memory problems appear. Not everyone with Parkinson’s disease experiences problems with memory problems. But if memory problems and motor problems arise at the same time or within a year of a dementia symptoms, the diagnosis is usually LBD.

Because LBD has symptoms that are similar to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, it is currently underdiagnosed. There are no tests that can diagnose LBD, but certain brain imaging technologies, like a PET scan, are currently being tested to see if they can diagnose LBD.

Being aware of these distinctions is important as your loved one sees medical professionals in response to certain symptoms consistent with what is described above. It is also crucial for family members and friends to understand the nature of these illnesses so they can communicate their concerns effectively to medical professionals, counselors, or elder care organizations.

If you have any questions, feel free to call EdlerCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.

[1] Source: https://shakeitup.org.au/faqs-on-lewy-body-dementia/

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