Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lewy Body Dementia Symptoms: Understanding the Warning Signs

A surprisingly common but highly unrecognized condition, Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is in many ways similar to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.  The senior care professionals in Durham, North Carolina, know that it can be very difficult for doctors to make a diagnosis of this condition; however, it is crucial that your elderly loved one is correctly diagnosed in order for them to receive the appropriate healthcare. For this reason, it is integral that you understand the symptoms of LBD and, if they arise, ensure that your senior secures the medical attention they need to fight this disease.

Because LBD is actually an umbrella term for two different diagnoses (Parkinson's disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies) it can be very difficult to pinpoint the symptoms that are associated with the condition.[1] Healthcare professionals have divided the list of potential symptoms into three different types: central, core, and suggestive features. Additionally, a list of supportive features may indicate the presence of this condition.

  • Central feature: Progressive dementia, or dementia that intensifies over time, is the primary symptom of LBD; however, the disruption of memory is not always detectable in the early stages of the disease.
  • Core features: Seniors often experience oscillating cognitive abilities that vary particularly regarding alertness and attention. Additionally, they may have visual hallucinations or the issues associated with parkinsonism.
  • Suggestive features: This category of symptoms includes REM sleep behavior disorder, sensitivity to neuroleptics, and the low uptake of dopamine transporters in the basal ganglia of the brain.  
  • Supportive features: In addition to having some of the symptoms above, seniors may experience fainting, falling, unexplained loss of consciousness, dysfunction of the autonomic system, hallucinations (other than those that are visual), visuospatial issues, and psychiatric concerns.
LBD is a condition that impacts millions of individuals around the world; however, because it is not widely understood, it can prove difficult to get a solid diagnosis of this particular condition. By understanding the symptoms of LBD and seeking medical treatment as soon as you recognize the warning signs, you can better protect your elderly loved one's health.

[1] All information regarding symptoms from

1 comment:

  1. Great article.Dementia is one of the big problem most especially for older people. Thanks for sharing all information about the importance of understanding the warning sign of Dementia.

    Dementia Clinic