Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Treatment Options for Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia, or LBD, is a multi-system condition that is very similar to Alzheimer's disease and even Parkinson's disease.[1] As such, it can prove difficult for seniors to get a solid diagnosis of this illness; however, once a diagnosis is made, the senior care professionals of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, know that it is crucial to begin treatment right away.

What Treatment Options Are Available?
Because LBD is a condition that impacts different systems throughout the body, it is integral that your senior's treatment plan is comprehensive in terms of the facets of the disease that it addresses. Most commonly, a team of specialists will be created to provide targeted attention to each of the symptoms that your senior is experiencing.

The symptoms that are associated with LBD range widely, so it is important to note that your elderly loved one may have a very diverse team on their side. Some of the symptoms or groups of symptoms that these professionals may address include:

  • Cognitive symptoms
  • Movement symptoms
  • Visual hallucinations
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
  • Neuroleptic sensitivity

Each of these categories of symptoms is treated in its own way. Cognitive issues are often addressed through the use of cholinesterase inhibitors, which are also used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Levodopa, a common medication for Parkinson's disease, is also used to minimize the disruption of movement. Visual hallucinations are frequently treated with antipsychotic pharmaceuticals; however, these drugs may cause seniors to experience neuroleptic sensitivity, which is another symptom of LBD. Finally, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder is addressed with melatonin, clonazepam, or other options.
Non-Medical Treatment Plans

In addition to a traditional medical approach, seniors may benefit from non-medical therapies, including physical, speech, and occupational therapies. Support groups and programs that include family members are also found to be incredibly valuable by many individuals and their loved ones who are, together, fighting LBD.
The treatment of LBD changes from one senior to the next, as the plan that doctors create is based on an individual's set of symptoms. By seeking medical attention as soon as possible, you can help your elderly loved one access the treatment options that will best address their symptoms.

[1] All information from http://www.lbda.org/content/treatment-options

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing these treatment options for Lewy Body Dementia, It's a great help for people with this kind of illness.

    Dementia specialist