What to know about Lewy body dementia
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a type of dementia that affects cognitive and motor skills.
LBD affects 1.4 million people and their families in the United States. It is the third most common form of dementia after multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
What is an LBD?
LBD is a progressive disease caused by abnormal deposition of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain.
According to a trusted source, the National Institute on Aging (NIA), in a healthy brain, alpha-synuclein plays an especially important role in synapses. With LBD, Lewy bodies form in synapses. This causes nerve dysfunction and death.
Lewy bodies can also affect a person’s mental abilities, mood and behavior by causing changes in brain chemicals.
There are two types of LBD:
Dementia and Lewy bodies: This occurs when Lewy bodies develop first in the brainstem and brainstem.
Parkinson’s dementia: This occurs when Lewy bodies first develop in the brainstem and eventually spread to the brain.
Both types are caused by the same changes in the brain. Although the initial symptoms are different, people with both types of LBD eventually experience similar symptoms.
Who is affected?
Scientists do not know why LBD occurs. However, it usually affects people over 50 years of age.
Symptoms of LBD are usually mild at first and become more noticeable over time.
According to the NIA, LBD accessories include:
Early signs and symptoms
Hallucinations can be one of the first symptoms a person experiences, causing them to see things that aren’t there.
Hallucinations affect 80% of people with LBD.
Other hallucinations, such as hearing or smelling things that aren’t there, are rare but can happen.
Cognitive problems are the most common feature of LBD.
It can be:
- Confusion, chaos
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Looking into space for a long time
It should be noted that the severity of these symptoms can vary. These changes help health professionals distinguish between LBD and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia symptoms can also cause problems such as:
- Solving problems
- Space capacity
A symptom in movement
LBD can cause movement problems, including:
- Difficulty in swallowing
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- negative attitude
- Slow or restless movement
- Shorter lines than usual
- stiff muscles
- A low voice
Sleep and LBD
Sleep disturbances are common in people with LBD.
People may have:
- Increased mobility during sleep
- sleep mode
- He fell into bed
- Restless legs syndrome
- talking in my sleep
- a lucid dream
- Live your dreams
Behavioral and mood symptoms
Proteins in the brains of people with LBD can also cause behavioral and mental symptoms:
- despair of despair
- Loss of interest or motivation
- not to rest
LBD causes many other physical and mental changes that lead to symptoms such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sexual dysfunction
- Not resisting self-control
When you ask for help
If they know or think someone is showing symptoms of LBD, including changes in cognition, behavior, movement or sleep, they should seek help.
In general, people should see their family doctor, who can carry out some tests. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist or psychiatrist.
To prepare for your appointment date, it may be helpful to write down:
- A complete list of symptoms, when they started and how severe they are
- Any relevant medical or family history
- All medications and supplements are taken
- List of questions for the doctor
It may be a good idea to bring a close friend or family member who can help you and report your symptoms to the doctor.
There is no cure for LBD.
Medications are available to help manage symptoms and improve a person’s quality of life.
Current treatment options include:
Medicines called cholinesterase inhibitors help treat cognitive symptoms, such as changes in memory and concentration. May reduce delusions and hallucinations.
A healthcare professional may prescribe atypical antipsychotics.
However, people should use it with caution. This is because it can cause serious side effects and make movement symptoms worse.
Movement related symptoms
Treatment for exercise-related symptoms may include:
Carbidopa – Levodopa
This medication helps treat movement disorders associated with LBD.
Side effects of carbidopa-levodopa include hallucinations and delusions. So doctors can start aiming for lower levels.
Exercise and fitness
Movement and exercise improve muscle strength and balance and help manage exercise-related symptoms.
Symptoms of mood relate and personality
Symptoms of mood relate and personality can be difficult to follow. The options are:
- Note your physical condition, such as an injury or illness, that affects your mood
- Depending on the type of medication and the condition, there may be side effects, so be careful when taking it.
- Change personal environment to reduce stress and anxiety and ensure adequate stimulation.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be used.
Do you have trouble sleeping?
Sleep disturbances can be caused by addictions and lifestyle changes, such as:
Clonazepam (Klonopin): This medication may help people with REM sleep disorder regain their dreams. However, it can cause headaches and psychological problems.
Stimulants: These drugs help you feel drowsy during the day.
Melatonin: This natural hormone is available in synthetic form and can easily treat insomnia while sleeping.
Sleep Hygiene: Some people can improve their sleep by changing their diet and behavior. For example, exercise during the day, set bedtime and wake times, and avoid caffeine and sugar at night.
To prevent drug addiction
A 2015 article states that people with LBD should not take conventional or first-generation antipsychotics such as haloperidol (Haldol). This medication can cause severe confusion and movement problems.
Antipsychotics may increase the risk of death in elderly people with dementia.
According to reliable NIA sources, people refuse to take olanzapine and risperidone.
Also, taking vitamins or supplements to treat LBD symptoms is not recommended.
People who take supplements with LBD should inform their doctor, as it may interfere with some medications.
Complementary medications can help people with LBD, especially those managing anxiety and mood.
Examples of such drugs are:
- light therapy
- therapeutic massage
- Veterinary Medicine
- in general
Complexity and visibility
LBD is a progressive disease in which the symptoms get worse over time. Possible problems are:
- Moods such as depression, anxiety, and anger
- loss of mobility
- Increased risk of falls and injuries
- Dementia is on the rise
Life expectancy after diagnosis is 5 to 8 years according to reliable sources and 2 to 20 years according to reliable sources.
LBD is a progressive condition that affects a person’s vision, movement, behavior and personality. This can be difficult for patients with LBD and their families and caregivers.
However, medications can help manage symptoms and improve a person’s quality of life. People with LBD enjoy spending time with family and friends and may enjoy a variety of exercises and activities during their illness.
People suffering from LBD can benefit from reaching out to others, including doctors, mental health professionals, friends and family. Support is provided by organizations and associations – for patients and their families.