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More About Lewy Body Dementia And The Treatment

Alzheimer’s is a well-known type of dementia, however, there are other kinds too. In this post, we will be looking at Lewy body dementia (LBD) which is the second most common form of dementia. Persons that suffer from LBD might experience fluctuations in the way they think, move, and behave. The disease presents itself from abnormal protein deposits in your brain referred to as alpha-synuclein. The deposits are named “Lewy bodies” after Dr. Frederich Lewy, a German researcher who discovered it in 1912.

Diagnosing Lewy body dementia can be problematic. Various symptoms are the same as the ones found in Alzheimer’s and other psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. LBD can coincide with more brain abnormalities too. Lewy body dementia is used to describe two conditions:

  • Parkinson’s disease dementia
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies

As these conditions progress, both diagnoses result in equal symptoms.

 

Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia

At the beginning of LBD, the symptoms are mild in some cases and persons might continue life with minimal interruption.  However, later, LBD starts causing movement and thought issues and in its progressive state, the patient might require 24 hours a day care. LBD symptoms can be physical, cognitive, or behavioral. Patients can experience emotional impacts, sleep problems, memory issues. Here are the more commonplace categories:

 

Cognitive Problems

LBD patients with cognitive problems can still come and go. This disease varies from Alzheimer’s and can assist clinicians to identify LBD:

  • Lethargy
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty with concentrating
  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Illogical reasoning patterns

 

Physical Problems

Problems with movement are commonplace in patients with LBD:

  • Shuffling
  • Stiff muscles
  • Shaking
  • Moving slowly
  • Balance difficulties
  • Trouble swallowing
  • No coordination
  • Issues with handwriting
  • Sagging posture

 

Sleeping Issues

  • Issues with sleep are often overlooked and are often treatable.
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Uncommon daytime sleepiness
  • Insomnia
  • Other sleeping disorders

 

Nervous System

LBD might influence the nervous system in various ways:

  • Incontinence
  • Blood pressure issues
  • Fainting and dizziness
  • Cold and heat sensitivity
  • Problems with sense
  • Constipation
  • Sexual dysfunction

 

LBD Treatment

Although LBD is not curable, some conditions can be treated for a while. The treatment for LBD entails various therapies and medications. The different symptoms are treated individually.

 

Medication

  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors – meds used for Alzheimer’s are used for managing the influences of LBD. They could include, Excelon, Aricept, and Razadyne.
  • Parkinson ’s disease Prescription Drugs – meds such as carbidopa-levodopa can assist with symptoms linked to Parkinson’s that often influence those with LBD.
  • Other Medications – Certain drug therapies are utilized for treating regular LBD symptoms like issues with movement and sleep.

 

Non-Medication Approaches For Treating LBD

  • Understanding the Goals – if a loved one has LBD is hallucinating, check how much it affects them. If they do not appear troubled, it is best to avoid meds, since it can come with certain side effects that could be more problematic for the patient.
  • Clutter-free Living Environment – Discarding stress-inducing noise and clutter makes it safer and easier for patients to function, particularly those with dementia.
  • Keeping the Peace – the situation can sometimes worsen if you question or criticize the person suffering from LBD. Rather emphasize on reassurance. Speak in a soft and soothing tone of voice.
  • Stick To a Routine – those living with LBD might appreciate a daily routine and predictability. Keep things basic and break activities into small phases. A dependable, yet simple structure can assist with reducing confusion.
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