Dementia with Lewy Bodies. or DLB as it is sometimes referred to accounts for nearly 10% of all cases of degenerative brain diseases. The number of people with Lewy Body dementia are said to number over 100,000 in the UK.
This disease of the brain is often misdiagnosed by doctor’s as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease because the symptoms are similar.
We look at 6 commonly asked question about Lewy Body dementia.
1. What is Lewy Body Dementia
Often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, DLB can take a couple of years to affect the brain to the point that the symptoms can be recognised.
It is a multi system disease meaning it affects more than one part of the brain. The disease affects the brain.
Lewy bodies is when there is the formation of abnormal proteins in the brain cells leading to the death of the brain cells.
2. What are the symptoms of Lewy Body dementia?
Symptoms of Dementia with Lewy Bodies can vary in person to person with some people showing no signs of a particular symptom and some others showing a lot of one of the symptoms.
Some of the symptoms are: Hallucinations. Extreme swings in levels of concentration from alertness to total confusion. Slow movement often associated with spontaneous Parkinson’s. Sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and sudden loss of consciousness which could include fainting.
3. Can the disease be cured?
At present dementia with Lewy Body cannot be cured.
4. How many people in the UK are affected with the disease?
It is estimated the there could be well over 100,00 people in the Uk living with Lewy Body dementia.
The total number of people diagnosed with all dementia’s is over 750,000 in the UK and set to rise significantly in the coming decades.
5. Is Lewy Bodies able to be treated?
There is no cure for dementia with lewy bodies but drugs are available to slow the disease. Often prescribing drugs to individuals with DLB can be difficult because the drugs can affect some sufferers in different ways.
Some drugs used to treat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease can be prescribed to an individual. A Doctor with experience in treating LBD can help when prescribing medication because the effects of certain types of drugs can have varying different effects on the sufferer
6. Where can I find more information?
There are many charities and groups that deal with DLB with some specialising in dementia with Lewy Bodies. We have a page on groups here.
You can also find more information on the signs and symptoms about dementia on the Lewy Bodies Society website here