At Gulf Shore Private Home Care, we are dedicated to providing the utmost care to our patients who would rather stay home than be enrolled in a senior living facility. We provide many services, but in this blog, we want to emphasize our care for those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases, specifically Lewy Body Dementia. This is an uncommon disease, but it is a severe one.
What Is Lewy Body Dementia?
Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a form of dementia that can decline necessary motor skills such as thinking, reasoning, and other independent functions. Abnormal microscopic deposits that damage brain cells over time are a common reason for Lewy Body Dementia.
It is estimated that LBD is the third most common cause of dementia right behind Alzheimer’s, of course, but also vascular dementia. LBD makes up about five to 10 percent of all dementia-caused illnesses. So why is it not widely known?
Lewy bodies are also found in not only Alzheimer’s but also in Parkinson’s. It is common for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s to develop LBD symptoms like having trouble thinking and reasoning. In contrast, people with LBD have experienced Parkinson’s symptoms like rigid muscles, trouble walking, and other symptoms.
This overlay in symptoms and further evidence suggests that LBD and Parkinson’s may be linked to the same underlying abnormalities in how the brain processes specific proteins, causing the symptoms you see with LBD and Parkinson’s.
Is There a Difference Between Lewy Body and Alzheimer’s?
As mentioned before, Alzheimer’s is a relatively well-known disease. On the other hand, Lewy Body Dementia is a lot less known yet still affects many people every year. According to USDHHS, over 1 million people in the United States are currently battling LBD. Patients who suffer from LBD can also have overlapping Alzheimer’s. This overlap is a big reason why a lot of people get misdiagnosed. The two diseases are very similar, but few distinctions need to be brought into the light.
The first big difference is that LBD targets a different set of cognitive functions like reasoning and problem-solving. Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, affects the brain’s ability to store new information in the form of memories.
Another difference is people who suffer from LBD will see hallucinations when they get it, while people who have Alzheimer’s experience hallucinations at an average of around four years of having the disease.
A significant indicator that you or someone you know has LBD and not Alzheimer’s is if they can’t sleep at all and have the Parkinson’s symptoms that we talked about earlier.
How Do You Get Lewy Bodies?
In short, there isn’t a way to “catch” LBD. Like we mentioned in the previous section, LBD happens when Lewy bodies build up in parts of your brain that control those motor skills like thinking, moving, and reasoning. Lewy bodies, on a deeper level, are deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein. The tricky part about LBD is that researchers are still studying alpha-synuclein. They don’t know precisely why these deposits form and are still being researched.
Starting Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia
Starting symptoms of LBD include:
- Changes in thinking and reasoning
- Alertness that is inconsistent and varies from day-to-day
- Significant memory loss
- Trouble interpreting visual process
- Gradually becoming slower in thinking, speaking, and moving
- Hallucinations (It is essential to bring up that some of these hallucinations are more severe than others.)
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, we heavily recommend seeing your doctor and receiving further help. If you or someone you know is diagnosed, we also advise that you contact Gulf Shore Private Home Care for home dementia care services in the Naples area.
What Is the Best Treatment for a Lewy Body?
Unfortunately, like most dementia-related diseases, LBD cannot be prevented or necessarily cured, although some symptoms can respond to specific treatment types for some time. Comprehensive treatment may involve medications, physical therapy, and counseling, all offered here at Gulf Shore.
Another aspect of treatment that is important is where somebody who is diagnosed is staying. Gulf Shore provides safe, reliable care right in the comfort of your own home. Gulf Shore Private Home Care warmly invites you to give us a call if you have any questions, concerns, or are interested in premium home dementia care services.