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An Informative Guide to Lewy Body Dementia

An Informative Guide to Lewy Body Dementia

Although Alzheimer’s disease is perhaps the most well-known of all the different forms of dementia, Lewy body dementia is still a common form of the illness.

So, whether you yourself have recently been diagnosed with the disease, or else it is a close friend or loved one dealing with such a diagnosis, either way, continue reading.

Here is an informative guide to Lewy body dementia.

Lewy Body Dementia: What Is It?

Lewy body dementia (LBD), however less well-known than other types of dementia, is far from a rare diagnosis to receive.

Although scientists and medical professionals are continuing to discover and learn more about this particular strain of dementia, there is still a lot to learn, especially due to the simple fact that Lewy body dementia affects a wide range of different parts of the brain.

LBD is caused, the catalyst being from a wide range of different sources, by the build-up of tiny masses of protein in the brain (called Alpha-Synuclein) and is named after the man who discovered them, scientist Dr. Friedrich Lewy.

Which Areas of the Brain Does LBD Affect?

Although, as previously touched upon, scientists are still trying to discover the complete range of negative effects on the brain that LBD can have, they are already familiar with the different areas of the brain damaged by the illness, including:
  • The middle section of the brain that is responsible for movement and coordination
  • The olfactory pathways that control the recognition of smells
  • The limbic cortex that controls feelings, emotions, and behaviors
  • The cerebral cortex that controls the processing of information

The Key Signs & Symptoms of LBD

With each different form of dementia, from Alzheimer’s disease to mixed dementia, there are early warning signs and symptoms that, although not conclusive proof, could indicate the early onset of Lewy body disease.

One of the more prominent and common symptoms is visual hallucinations, usually either first thing in the morning or last thing at night, which are often accompanied by REM (rapid eye movement) and sleep paralysis. 
Other signs of LBD in older adults and older people include difficulty walking, a heightened sensitivity to even over-the-counter medications, an inability to multitask, and a lack of spatial awareness and problem-solving skills.

This is why eminent memory care in Glenview, IL facilities place huge importance on brain training and other exercises to maintain cognitive brain function for as long as possible. 

Movement Problems

Another key sign of the onset of Lewy body dementia is related to the ease of movement and associated physical pain, which is why it is fairly common for people with LBD to be initially wrongfully diagnosed as having Parkinson’s disease.

There are a number of similar symptoms of LBD that can manifest themselves to appear as Parkinson’s disease, such as difficulty chewing and swallowing, changes to handwriting, leaning forward when standing still, shaking and tremors, and a rise in the number of times the individual falls and trips when walking.

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