Lewy body dementia, or LBD, is the second most common type of progressive dementia in the world next to Alzheimer's disease dementia. LBD primarily affects people with older age (above 50 or more), although younger people may also have it.
Lewy Body Dementia is a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by the deposition of an abnormal protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These proteins are known as Lewy bodies and are capable of causing chemical changes in the brain leading to problems with movement, thinking, behavior, and mood.
The signs of LBD are an abnormal gait and walking difficulties, confused facial expressions, loss of vigor, slow voice, tremors, lack of coordination, changes in handwriting, and spastic muscles. The patients fall often and are unable to perform their daily-life activities.
The major symptoms of Lewy body dementia include forgetfulness and absent state of mind, changes in mood and sleeping patterns, reduced social interactions, dizziness, inability to focus, anxiety and irritability, delusions and even hallucinations. The patients may act abnormally in different situations and speak things that make no sense. The disease causes a gradual decline in the mental abilities of the patients.
Even though the exact cause is still unknown, scientists have found that the deposition of Lewy bodies in the brain is linked with the loss of specific neurons in the brain that produces two important neurotransmitters, namely acetylcholine, and dopamine. Acetylcholine is responsible for memory and learning processes, whereas dopamine controls the mood, behavior, movement, cognition, and sleep of a person.
While it is impossible to prevent or cure LBD right now, some symptoms may improve with treatment. A complete treatment plan for LBD involves medications, different types of therapies, and counseling.
There are certain medications for Lewy body dementia that help improve memory, such as anti-parkinsonian drugs and anti-depressants. Medications are also given to help the patient with sleep, constipation, nausea and urinary incontinence, etc. In addition to these, providing suitable equipment to the patient for making their everyday tasks easier and giving social support to them is also essential.
During the early stages of LBD, it is easier to care for the loved ones. However, as time progresses, the symptoms aggravate and become more challenging to manage. As a result, caregivers start to experience stress and find it difficult to take care of their loved ones. Caregivers may even become disheartened as they have to face challenging situations in their personal life. In such situations, opting for a care provider for your loved ones is a necessary step to take.
If you are looking for an in-home caregiver for your loved one with Lewy body dementia, contact us today. Our care-takers are experienced and highly trained professionals, knowing how to deal with and care for a patient with LBD.