What is Lewy Body Dementia? Dementia is a general term for memory loss, as well as any issues with memory that affect the normal course of daily life. Dementia is a result of physical changes within the brain. Lewy Bodies is the name of the type of protein deposits that can develop in nerve cells or in the cognitive center of the brain in addition to movement that instructs motor control.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Lewy Body Dementia is the second most common type of progressive dementia affecting more than 1.4 million people in the United States. Lewy Body resembles both Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s because of the similarity of the changes within the brain; however, the early symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia differ from those of Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s.
The early symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia tend to manifest as significant sleep disturbances, well-formed visual hallucinations, general slowness and poor balance when walking. Movement is reflective of Parkinson’s Disease issues. Diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia can sometimes take between one and two years and requires a complex treatment approach, but it is important to receive an accurate diagnosis to prevent later complications.
As with many cognitive issue disorders, symptoms may worsen as the day progresses; therefore, adults with Lewy Body Dementia need to establish a daily routine that allows them to exercise their mind and body during the day and limit nighttime distractions for optimal rest.
Know that it is normal to feel frustration or fear about the diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia, but there are a tremendous number of tools and support that can be found in order to manage the condition with ease and success.