Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is not rare. DLB is the second most common of the diseases that cause dementia. Only Alzheimer’s disease is more common than DLB.

DLB affects about 1.4 million individuals and their families in the United States. Because symptoms can closely resemble other diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, DLB is widely underdiagnosed. Many doctors or other medical professionals still are not familiar with DLB.

This is why it is important to work with physicians who have experience diagnosing and treating DLB, such as the experts at the Ayer Neuroscience Institute Memory Care Center.


Symptoms

DLB is like a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Like Alzheimer’s, DLB causes mental symptoms, like confusion and problems with memory. DLB can cause early problems with attention, problem-solving and spatial awareness. Significant memory loss occurs later in DLB than in Alzheimer’s. Like Parkinson’s disease, people with DLB may have trouble with slow movement, including difficulty walking.

Certain symptoms are more common in DLB than in any other disease that causes dementia. Vivid visual hallucinations, swinging between alertness and confusion, physically acting out dreams when asleep, and being unusually stiff and slow moving are all common signs of DLB.

Screening & Diagnosing Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Your doctor will ask about your past health and do a physical exam. You may be asked to do some simple things that test your memory and other mental skills.

The exam usually includes blood tests to look for other causes. You may have tests such as CT scans and MRI scans, which look at your brain.

Treating Dementia with Lewy Bodies

The progression of DLB is slow. Although there is no cure for DLB, treatment is available to reduce symptoms of the disease.

It is important to know that people with DLB can be highly sensitive to certain medications (like those often used for hallucinations), with unpleasant or even fatal outcomes.

The good news is that people with DLB may respond better to some dementia medications than people with Alzheimer’s. Also, non-medical approaches, such as a daily routine, physical activity where possible, and changes to the environment, can all help manage daily life with DLB.


Memory Care Conditions

Memory Care Center

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