Lewy Body Dementia – Symptoms & Diagnosis

Lewy Body Dementia

This medical condition was discovered by Friederich H. Lewy, while he was doing his research about Parkinson’s disease. Lewy found some proteins on the brain which prevents the brain from functioning normally. The symptoms of Lewy body dementia share some similarities with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. These shared symptoms make it challenging for medical professionals to diagnose Lewy body dementia.

Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia

Memory loss as a result of declining mental faculties. Patients suffering from Lewy body dementia also have a noticeable decrease in their spatial reasoning abilities. This means that patients cannot accurately tell the distance between two objects which causes them to slip and fall often.
Motor functions are also greatly affected by this disease. This may manifest as tremors, slow movements and stiffness of the muscles.Mood swings are also common in patients with Lewy body dementia. Depression is seen often, as well as visual hallucinations.

As previously stated, Lewy body dementia shares some symptoms with two other diseases and even though a brain scan can tell that there is deterioration in the brain, it will not show the calcified protein formation on the brain of the patient.

To be able to diagnose the disease, the medical professional would need to rule out all the other shared symptoms and focus on the hallucinations and sleep problems which are being experienced by the patient. Specific treatments are still not available to patients who have Lewy body dementia. Medicine may be given by doctors to help ease the symptoms of the disease. Medication for patients with Lewy body dementia differ from one case to another, since some medicine may help treat the symptoms on one patient but be ineffective on another.

Helping patients through this may be tough on the care givers. Being informed about Lewy body dementia is the best first line of defense. Learn everything that you can about the disease, especially its effects on the patients and those around him. Since patients have deteriorating mental functions, try making a schedule.

This would help patients to remember meal times or even bed time. Even accomplishing the simplest of tasks can be difficult for patients with Lewy body dementia. Be patient with them, focus on what they did well and not on the things that they did wrong. For those who take care of Lewy body dementia patients, take time out for yourself. It will not be good for both you and the patient if you burn out.