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Understanding Lewy Body Dementia

The second most common form of degenerative dementia, Lewy body dementia, affects more than a million individuals in the United States. LBD is a form of dementia that’s related to abnormal proteins in the brain. These abnormal protein deposits, referred to as Lewy bodies, affect certain chemicals in the brain that influence movement, mood, behavior, and thinking. Today, Home Care Assistance of Santa Clarita, CA is going to share some information about Lewy body dementia to help families coping with a loved one’s recent diagnosis.

What to Expect

Like other forms of dementia, LBD is a progressive condition. The disease typically lasts from 5 to 7 years from the time of diagnosis to death, with some exceptions. The rate at which patients go through the stages of the condition and the symptoms displayed can vary greatly.

Common Symptoms

Symptoms associated with LBD can affect every aspect of a patient’s life. Critical thinking abilities can become diminished, resulting in trouble making rational decisions or confusion about time and place. Some patients may also suffer from hallucinations, seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. Additional symptoms may include:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Rigid muscles
  • Depression or apathy
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Difficulty sleeping

Overlapping Conditions

People with Lewy body dementia may suffer from overlapping conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Since there are two forms of LBD that have been identified (dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia), it can be difficult to provide an accurate diagnosis. All forms of dementia can also be affected by strokes, vitamin deficiencies, brain tumors, and other underlying heath conditions.

Since LBD affects movement, it’s often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. An example is the late Robin Williams, who was initially diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson’s. It was later confirmed that the actor had LBD. If your aging parent or loved one is exhibiting signs of both conditions, keep a journal of symptoms and share them with your loved one’s doctor or physician. They will be able to help you determine whether Santa Clarita Parkinson’s care would be a better option over dementia care.

Caring for a Senior with Lewy Body Dementia

Having an understanding of Lewy body dementia can, at the very least, allow seniors and their loved ones to know what to expect from the condition. If you are caring for a senior loved one with dementia, learn more about professional and compassionate dementia home care in Santa Clarita from Home Care Assistance. Our highly trained and compassionate dementia caregivers can assist on a part-time basis in the early stages and can also provide around the clock monitoring and support as care needs increase and evolve over time. Reach out to us today at 661-259-9914 for more information about dementia home care and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.