What Is Lewy Body Dementia?
Lewy body dementia, also known as dementia with Lewy bodies, is the second-most common type of neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. Protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, develop inside the brain’s nerve cells. The condition impacts thinking, memory, behavior, and movement, and results in a progressive decline in mental function.
Family history of Lewy body dementia or Parkinson’s disease, as well as age 60 and up and a male gender identification at birth are common risk factors.
The specialists at Norton Neuroscience Institute Memory Center have the experience and expertise to precisely diagnose Lewy body dementia and other types of dementia and neurological conditions. Our providers are at the leading edge of advances in this rapidly developing field to help slow the progress and manage dementia symptoms.
More patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana trust Norton Neuroscience Institute with their neurological care than any other provider in the area. Patients find a comprehensive range of board-certified specialists who provide a diversity of viewpoints to develop a customized care plan for each patient.
Lewy Body Dementia Symptoms
Lewy body dementia can appear similar to Alzheimer’s disease with changes in memory. Patients with Lewy body dementia also may develop vivid hallucinations. The hallucinations are most often visual representations of people or animals.
Lewy body dementia symptoms may fluctuate significantly from moment to moment or day to day. A patient with Lewy body dementia may be able to perform a routine task one moment, forget how the next moment, then remember. This can be confusing and perhaps frustrating for caregivers.
Many will develop physical symptoms such as slowed movements, stiffness and changes in walking and balance similar to Parkinson’s disease. Some with Lewy body dementia also will have episodes of syncope, or fainting. Lewy body dementia often coexists with Alzheimer’s and is typically treated in the same way.
Lewy Body Dementia Support
Dementia with Lewy bodies can be extremely difficult for both the patient and caregivers. The Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center offers educational, therapeutic, support and exercise programs free of charge. Patient navigators are on staff to help patients and families. Patient navigation services are free and available as often as needed.
The center can assist individuals and their families with:
- Access to medical care
- Prescription assistance
- Employment concerns
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Transportation issues
- Financial challenges
- Nutritional counseling