What You Should Know About Lewy Body Disease

When many people think about dementia and memory issues, they think of Alzheimer's disease. However, there are many different types of dementia that a person can suffer from. One such form of dementia is known as Lewy body disease or Lewy body dementia. If you have a loved one that has been diagnosed with this form of dementia, get to know some of the important facts about Lewy body disease. Then, you can be sure that you are doing everything in your power to support and care for your loved one with Lewy body disease. 

What Is Lewy Body Disease?

Lewy body disease, also referred to as dementia with Lewy bodies, is a progressive form of dementia. This means that it worsens and intensifies over time. Lewy bodies is a term used to describe the types of proteins that develop into deposits in the nerve cells of the brain with this form of dementia. The protein deposits interfere with the function of the nerve cells and can even cause the death (inactivity) of those nerve cells over time. 

How Common Is Lewy Body Disease?

Lewy body disease is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease. As such, while many people do not know about Lewy body disease, it is actually quite prevalent. 

What Are the Symptoms of Lewy Body Disease?

There are many different symptoms associated with Lewy body disease. The most commonly recognized symptoms are cognitive. People with Lewy Body Disease may have trouble with their memory, their ability to think and problem solve, and other related functions. However, there are many other symptoms of this form of dementia. 

One of the most disturbing symptoms for the person with Lewy body disease is visual hallucinations. Visual hallucinations can include seeing people that are not there as well as other objects, animals, and imaginary creatures. Sometimes these hallucinations also include smell, touch, and sound, which can make it very difficult for a person with Lewy body disease to know what is real and what is not. 

Other symptoms of Lewy body disease include depression, problems with attention, movement disorders (similar to Parkinson's disease), and trouble sleeping. These symptoms worsen and develop over time. 

What Treatments Are Available for Lewy Body Disease?

There is no cure for Lewy body disease. However, medications can help with the symptoms of Lewy body disease. There are medications often used for Alzheimer's to treat the cognitive symptoms of the disease, while Parkinson's medications can help with the physical symptoms of the condition. 

Much of the treatment for Lewy body disease involves managing symptoms. Medications, as well as compassion, understanding, and tolerance, can help. Remember that your loved one cannot help what is happening to them and that you have to bear with them through the worst of their symptoms. 

Now that you know more about Lewy body disorder, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to support your loved one that has been diagnosed with this particular form of dementia. For further information, contact the Lewy Body Dementia Resource Center or reach out to a medical professional.