Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)

What is Lewy body dementia?

Lewy body dementia, also known as dementia with Lewy bodies, is a form of progressive dementia that affects a person’s ability to think, reason, and process information. Lewy body dementia is a disease associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These deposits, called Lewy bodies, affect chemicals in the brain whose changes, in turn, can lead to problems with thinking, movement (motor control), behavior, and mood. Lewy body dementia causes a progressive decline in mental abilities. People with Lewy body dementia may experience visual hallucinations, and changes in alertness and attention. Other effects include Parkinson's disease-like symptoms such as rigid muscles, slow movement and tremors.
 
Risk factors
 
  • Being older than 60
  • Being male
  • Having a family member with Lewy body dementia or Parkinson's disease
 
Diagnosis of Lewy body dementia requires a progressive decline in your ability to think, as well as two of the following:
 
  • Fluctuating alertness and thinking (cognitive) function
  • Repeated visual hallucinations
  • Parkinsonian symptoms
Other tests include:
 
  • Neurological and physical examination-check for signs of Parkinson's disease, strokes, tumors or other medical conditions that can affect the brain and physical function. 
  • Assessment of mental abilities-assesses your memory and thinking skills to help distinguish normal from abnormal cognitive aging, and may help diagnose the condition.
  • Blood tests can rule out physical problems that can affect brain function, such as vitamin B-12 deficiency or an underactive thyroid gland.
  • Brain scans-certain features on imaging studies can suggest different types of dementia, such as Alzheimer's or Lewy body dementia.
 
Treatment
Lewy body dementia has no cure. Treatment involves addressing the symptoms.
 
 
# LEWY BODY DEMENTIA BY THE NUMBERS #
  • An estimated 1.4 million Americans are living with the disease.
  • Usually diagnosed when a person is in their 60s and 70s
  • The disease lasts an average of 5 to 7 years from the time of diagnosis to death, but the time span can range from 2 to 20 years.
 
LBD lady
 
 

Sources
  • "Dementia with Lewy Bodies." Dementia with Lewy Bodies Symptoms| Signs, Symptoms, & Diagnosis. Alzheimer's Association, n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
  • "Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB)." Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library, n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
  • "What Lewy Body Disease Is." Lewy Body Disease. Lewy Body Journal, n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
  • "Lewy Body Dementia." National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 21 Jan. 2016. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
  • "Lewy Body Dementia." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

 

An astounding 47.5 million people are currently living with dementia all over the world. These numbers are expected to triple by 2050. While 60-80% of these cases are due to Alzheimer’s disease, there are a multitude of other forms of this mental condition that are not as familiar. Below is an infographic from Be Independent Home Care that aims to provide increased awareness on the 8 types of dementia that are considered rare.  Knowledge of the symptoms, causes, frequency, and those most prone to develop the disease is crucial for the education of sufferers, caregivers, families, and friends.
 
types of dementia
 

 

NOTE: The information on this page and any information found on healtheo360 is not a substitution for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, CALL 911 immediately. See additional information about our Terms & Conditions.