lewy body dementia

Lewy body dementia, an umbrella term for both Parkinson’s disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies

Lew body dementia (LBD) is an umbrella term referring to both Parkinson’s disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. In dementia with Lewy bodies, cognitive symptoms interfering with daily living present themselves before or within one year of Parkinson’s-like movement problems. In Parkinson’s disease dementia, cognitive symptoms usually don’t appear until after a year of the onset of movement problems.

Researcher Howard I. Hurtig explained, “An early and accurate diagnosis may be lifesaving. The avoidance of medications that can worsen the symptoms of LBD cannot be overemphasized. Every patient with LBD and their caregiver(s) should memorize the list of acceptable and forbidden drugs.”

Lewy body dementia is characterized by an abnormal buildup of Lewy bodies in areas of the brain responsible for memory, behavior, movement, and personality. Parkinson’s disease symptoms primarily affect mobility and motor abilities. Diagnosis can be difficult because more than one cognitive disorder can be causing changes in the brain. For proper diagnosis and differentiation between dementia and Parkinson’s disease, it’s best to consult with a neurologist or geriatric physician.

Signs and symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia

Parkinson’s disease dementia

  • Changes in memory, concentration, or judgement
  • Trouble interpreting visual information
  • Muffled speech
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Delusions, paranoid thoughts
  • Depression
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Loss of decision-making ability
  • Disorientation in familiar surroundings
  • Trouble learning new material
  • Difficulty using complex language

Dementia with Lewy bodies

  • Changes in thinking and reasoning
  • Confusion and alertness that varies significantly
  • Parkinson’s symptoms
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Trouble interpreting visual information
  • Acting out dreams
  • Memory loss

As you can see, Parkinson’s disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies share many signs and symptoms. It’s important that a specialist reviews the patient’s specific symptoms to establish a proper diagnosis and recommend an appropriate mode of treatment.


Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.

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https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150121114556.htm
http://www.alz.org/dementia/parkinsons-disease-symptoms.asp
http://www.alz.org/dementia/dementia-with-lewy-bodies-symptoms.asp

Related Reading:

Lewy body dementia distinguished from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease by comparing clinical profiles: Study

Lewy body dementia odds over Alzheimer’s increase with visual hallucinations

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