What Are The Stages Of Dementia
The stages of dementia vary from person to person and the type of dementia. Keeping the four common types of dementia in mind, these seven stages are the usual progression that is experienced:
- No symptoms yet, but tests might reveal a problem
- Very mild changes in behavior, but independence remains
- Mild decline is noticeable, including changes in thinking, forgetting events, and repeating statements
- Moderate decline, meaning trouble remembering recent events and handling money
- A moderate to severe decline where they forget names, are unsure what time of day it is, and need some assistance with basic daily tasks
- Their decline is severe they are forgetting their spouses name, their personality is changing, and they need help eating and going to the bathroom
- Very severe decline, where they are unable to walk, can no longer speak their thoughts, and spend most time in bed
Lewy Body Dementia: A Common Yet Underdiagnosed Dementia
While its not a household word yet, Lewy body dementia is not a rare disease. It affects an estimated 1.4 million individuals and their families in the United States. Because LBD symptoms can closely resemble other more commonly known disorders like Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons, it is often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. In fact, many doctors or other medical professionals still are not familiar with LBD.
Exercise For Individuals With Lewy Body Dementia: A Systematic Review
Affiliation Exercise, Health and Performance Faculty Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, New South Wales, 2141, Australia
Affiliation Exercise, Health and Performance Faculty Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, New South Wales, 2141, Australia
Affiliations CHeBA , School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Randwick, New South Wales, 2031, Australia, Neuropsychiatric Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, New South Wales, 2031, Australia
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How Is Dementia With Lewy Bodies Different Than Parkinson’s Disease
It is worthy of note that dementia is often present with Parkinson’s disease, but not everyone who has this brain disorder will have this symptom. When it is present, people will first experience a movement disorder, with symptoms such as slowed movement, muscle stiffness, tremor and a shuffling walk. Subsequently, they will experience the cognitive symptoms of dementia, which include changes in mood and behavior. Another important aspect to keep in mind is that dementia with Lewy bodies is the umbrella term for two similar diagnoses, namely dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia.
The difference between the two conditions is that the former is a type of dementia that results in difficulties with memory and thinking that are serious enough to disrupt everyday activities, whereas the latter is used to describe dementia that occurs with Parkinson’s disease several years after the patient received their diagnosis. Therefore, dementia with Lewy bodies occurs suddenly, while dementia that may occur in people with Parkinson’s disease arises later in the condition. Consequently, it is essential for medical professionals to make the difference between dementia with Lewy bodies and dementia that is present in people with Parkinson’s disease in order to assign a correct diagnosis.
What Is Dementia With Lewy Bodies And Parkinsons
Both conditions relate to decline in cognitive thinking and reasoning, loss of brain cells and abnormal alpha-synuclein protein clusters termed as Lewy bodies.
Both disorders have very similar;symptoms, but the;symptoms;usually happen;in a;different order dependant on where the;Lewy bodies;first form.;
Major similarities between Parkinsons and Lewy Body Dementia include;
- Both disorders affect approximately one million people in the United States
- They both an impact to the brain nerve cells
- There is no cure for both of these conditions
- Symptoms that impact the body include stiffness, weakness and slowness in movements
- Symptoms that affect brain include: memory loss, attention span and impaired;executive functioning
The protein alpha-synuclein unusually builds up in the brain in aggregates, or clumps, called Lewy bodies. The location of those clumps makes a difference.;
Also, people who have Lewy bodies tend to exhibit greater variation in brain function ability than those with;PD dementia.
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What Are The Early Warning Signs Of Dementia To Watch For
Now that you know the four common types of dementia, there are 10 early symptoms you should watch for if you begin to notice changes in your loved one. Noticing memory problems in your loved one doesnt immediately mean its dementia.
There needs to be at least two types of impairment that are significantly impacting the person: memory loss plus difficulty with communication, language, focus, or reasoning.
Here are 10 early symptoms of dementia to watch for:
If your loved one is beginning to experience these symptoms, talk to their doctor to rule out any other factors and get a proper diagnosis. An early diagnosis and treatment can be beneficial, so dont delay in getting help.
Progression Of Clinical Features In Lewy Body Dementia Can Be Detected Over 6 Months
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Whats The Difference Between Lewy Body Dementia Parkinsons Disease And Alzheimers Disease
Lewy body dementia is an umbrella term for two related clinical diagnoses: dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinsons disease dementia. These disorders share the same underlying changes in the brain and very similar symptoms, but the symptoms appear in a different order depending;on where the Lewy bodies first form.
Dementia with Lewy bodies is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory and thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with everyday activities. It specifically affects a persons ability to plan and solve problems, called executive function, and their ability to understand visual information. Dementia always appears first in DLB. The motor symptoms of Parkinsons such as tremor, slowness, stiffness and walking/balance/gait problems usually become more evident as the disease progresses. Visual hallucinations, REM sleep behavior disorder, fluctuating levels of alertness and attention, mood changes and autonomic dysfunction are also characteristic of DLB.
Finally, Alzheimers is characterized by different abnormal clumps called amyloid plaques, and jumbled fiber bundles called tau tangles. These microscopic structural changes in the brain were discovered by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906. These plaques and tangles, together with loss of connections between nerve cells, contribute to loss of coherence and memory, as well as a progressive impairment in conducting normal activities of daily living.
Lewy Body Dementia Research
Many avenues of research are being explored to improve our understanding of LBD. Some researchers are working to identify the specific differences in the brain between the two types of LBD. Others are looking at the disease’s underlying biology, genetics, and environmental risk factors. Still other scientists are trying to identify biomarkers , improve screening tests to aid diagnosis, and research new treatments.
Scientists hope that new knowledge about LBD will one day lead to more effective treatments and even ways to cure and prevent the disorder. Until then, researchers need volunteers with and without LBD for clinical studies.
NIH and other groups help people learn about clinical trials and studies and find research opportunities near them. Visit the following websites for details:
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Treating Movement Symptoms In Lewy Body Dementia
LBD-related movement symptoms may be treated with medications used for Parkinson’s disease, called carbidopa-levodopa. These drugs can help make it easier to walk, get out of bed, and move around. However, they cannot stop or reverse the disease itself. Side effects of this medication can include hallucinations and other psychiatric or behavioral problems. Because of this risk, physicians may recommend not treating mild movement symptoms with medication. Other Parkinson’s medications are less commonly used in people with LBD due to a higher frequency of side effects.
People with LBD may benefit from physical therapy and exercise. Talk with your doctor about what physical activities are best.
How Can Dementia With Lewy Bodies Be Treated
It can take a year or two for Lewy body dementia to be diagnosed because symptoms may develop slowly. However, a doctors diagnosis is important because it opens the door to proper treatment. Early treatment can extend the quality of life and even independence for people with Lewy body dementia.
A medical team can develop a comprehensive treatment approach to Lewy body dementia. It will likely include medications, but they must be monitored closely because people with Lewy body dementia may be highly sensitive to side effects. It can take multiple trials to find the drug or combination that works for each individual.
In addition to medications, there are a number of other treatment options that have proven to be effective for dementia with Lewy bodies. They include the following:
- Psychotherapy Both the individual and his or her family members can benefit from psychotherapy to manage emotional and behavioral symptoms. It can also be useful as people accept the reality of living with a cognitive disorder and develop plans for the future with a brain disease.
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapies All of these therapies help maintain function and independence. They can also reduce anxiety, improve mood, and help with overall wellbeing.
- Supportive care Care that is designed to provide emotional support while providing engaging, stimulating memory care is ideal for people who have been diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies.
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Robin Was Very Aware That He Was Losing His Mind And There Was Nothing He Could Do About It
Schneider added: Robin was very aware that he was losing his mind and there was nothing he could do about it.
Jacqueline Cannon said of her fathers condition: He always used to say to me, Im losing my mind. We say to people that LBD is not just about memory. Its about the other symptoms that go with it, especially the hallucinations.
In the spotlight
Like Parkinsons disease there is currently no cure for LBD, and a need to raise awareness the case of Robin Williams will no doubt help. Dedicated research centres do already exist, such as the leading;Biomedical Research Unit in Lewy Body Dementia at Newcastle University.
Professor Ian McKeith, president of the Lewy Body Society, believes there is cause for hope however. In a piece published by The Conversation, he wrote:;Therapeutic trials have been few and far between in LBD because of a combination of a lack of compounds to test, a pre-occupation with targeting Alzheimers and a reluctance of regulatory bodies to recognise LBD. All of these are now changing and LBD is increasingly viewed as a malleable and commercially-viable target.
Coping With A Diagnosis
Being diagnosed with dementia can be an overwhelming experience. While there is no cure at present for LBD, or any medications aimed at specifically treating LBD, doctors are able to treat many of its symptoms. There are also a number of self-help strategies that can help improve symptoms.
If youve been diagnosed with LBD, its normal to feel many strong and painful emotions, including anger, fear, and uncertainty about the future.
Take time to adjust. As with any major life change, its important to give yourself time to adjust. Expect ups and downs as you do. You may feel that youve come to terms with your new situation for a while, and then suddenly feel overwhelmed by stress again.
Reach out for support.;Living with Lewy body dementia is not easy, but there is help for this journey. The more support you have from family and friends, the better youll be able to cope with symptoms.
Talk to your loved ones about your wishes. Its never easy to talk about how you want your healthcare handled when youre unable to make decisions for yourself. But its important to let your loved one know what is important to you. Thinking about your choices today can improve your quality of life in the future and ease the burden on your family.
Slowing the progression of symptoms
The same healthy lifestyle changes that are used to prevent dementia can also be useful in slowing the advancement of LBD symptoms.
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What Is Survival Among Patients With Parkinson Dementia With Lewy Bodies
- The JAMA Network Journals
- A new article compares survival rates among patients with synucleinopathies, including Parkinson disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson disease dementia and multiple system atrophy with parkinsonism, with individuals in the general population.
A new article published by JAMA Neurology compares survival rates among patients with synucleinopathies, including Parkinson disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson disease dementia and multiple system atrophy with parkinsonism, with individuals in the general population.
The population-based study by Rodolfo Savica, M.D., Ph.D., and coauthors of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minn., included all the residents of Minnesota’s Olmsted County and identified 461 patients with synucleinopathies and 452 patients without for comparison.
From 1991 through 2010, the 461 patients with a synucleinopathy diagnosis included 309 with Parkinson disease, 81 with dementia with Lewy bodies, 55 with Parkinson disease dementia and 16 with multiple system atrophy with parkinsonism. Parkinsonism was defined as the presence of at least 2 of 4 cardinal signs: rest tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity and impaired postural reflexes.
Of the 461 patients with synucleinopathies, 316 died during follow-up, while among the 452 participants used for comparison, 220 died during follow-up.
Outlook For Dementia With Lewy Bodies
How quickly dementia with Lewy bodies gets worse varies from person to person.
Home-based help will usually be needed, and some people will eventually need care in a nursing home.
The average survival time after diagnosis is similar to that of Alzheimers disease around 6 to 12 years. But this is highly variable and some people live much longer than this.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, remember that youre not alone. The NHS and social services, as well as voluntary organisations, can provide advice and support for you and your family.
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Strengths And Limitations Of This Study
We identified residents with two or more LBD signs and categorised them as at risk for inappropriate treatment due to misdiagnosis. A strength of this study was its large N, with data collected by nurses who followed a consistent questionnaire protocol and a long follow-up of 6 years . In addition, we used medical records across all 40 NHs with data from 96% of the residents, including observational data, electronic medical and medication records.
A limitation is the cross-sectional nature of the initial data collection. In addition, the participants were at different stages of their disease and data on severity of dementia, comorbidity and function was not possible to collect. Therefore, the Cox regression models were only adjusted for age and gender.
Although our use of a non-validated questionnaire may also be considered a limitation, over 90% of the residents with a formal LBD diagnosis, according to computerised medical records, were categorised in the 24 LBD group, suggesting that the instrument has face validity.
Causes And Risk Factors
Although we know that changes in the brain cause Lewy body dementia, we dont know what triggers those changes. Variations in three genes have been linked to the disease, but the connection is not clear. At present, its not considered a genetic disease.
The risk of developing LBD increases with age. Men are slightly more likely to have it than women. Having someone in your family with LBD can increase your chances of developing it.
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Differences Between Lbd And Alzheimers Disease
Although Lewy body dementia resembles Alzheimers, its important to distinguish between the two because they respond to different treatments. Here are some things doctors look at when making a diagnosis:
- Memory loss: those with Alzheimers have more memory problems and display them earlier
- Movement problems: those with LBD usually have problems with movement early in the course of the disease, while those issues occur later in those with Alzheimers
- Disordered thinking: those with LBD are more likely to have hallucinations and delusions, and are also more likely to misidentify familiar faces
- Sleep problems: disturbed sleep occurs more frequently in those with LBD
- Nervous system problems: Those with LBD often have problems with the autonomous nervous system, such as a drop in blood pressure upon standing that results in dizziness; problems with bladder and bowels; excessive salivation; reduced sweating and sensitivity to heat