Non-preventable and Non-reversible: Lewy Body Dementia On April 10th 2010, my dad informed me that my grandmother had passed away. She was 90-years-old, and although she may have lived a long life, the last eight or so years of her life were very rough. The official reason she passed away was because of Lewy Body Dementia. This degenerative disease, meaning it is not reversible, is thought to have sprouted from an infection she had in her kidneys in 2002.
She lived at home for a while after her kidney disease was found and treated, but was moved to an assisted living center in 2007 because of occasional hallucinations, and family was unable to stay with her at her home. As time progressed, her dementia got worse. She slowly started having hallucinations more frequently, became very forgetful, and eventually was unable to perform any tasks on her own. “Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior,” stated by Google Health. Mayoclinic. om suggests that “in Lewy body dementia, abnormal round structures — called Lewy bodies — develop in regions of your brain involved in thinking and movement. ”
Although the specific cause of dementia is unknown, specialists believe that it relates to Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease. Evidence of these two diseases has been seen in Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) The cause may not be known, but there are many symptoms that can be easily noticed without difficult tests, such as detailed hallucinations, trembling hands, delusions, sleep difficulties, and more. A clinical diagnosis of LBD can be probable or possible based on different symptom combinations,“ discusses Lbda. org, the Lewy Body Dementia Association website. A probable diagnosis consists of dementia plus two or more core features, or dementia plus a single core feature and one or more suggestive features. A possible diagnosis is dementia plus one core feature, or dementia and one or more suggestive features.
Core features are changing cognition with variations of attention or alertness, very detailed hallucinations, and unconsciously having Parkinson’s Disease movements. A suggestive feature includes REM sleep behavior disorder, sensitivity to neuroleptics (a drug used for calming), and low dopamine transporter uptake in the brains basal ganglia, which connects to main parts of the brain like the cerebral cortex and thalamus. LBD cannot be cured, it can only be slowed down. Since there is no cure, doctors can only treat individual symptoms.
They use medications for Alzheimer’s Disease to increase the levels of neurotransmitters to help with cognition, Parkinson’s Disease, for muscular issues, but these can increase hallucinations and delusions. Also, doctors may use an antipsychotic medication, which is a neuroleptic, and many LBD patients are severely sensitive to these. Some simple therapy can also be used, such as removing clutter and background noise from the environment, and breaking tasks into simpler steps which will help them focus.
Also, how a caregiver responds to a person with LBD is crucial. They should not quiz the person, or question them, they should just validate any concerns, which will usually get rid of the issue at hand for the moment. Lewy Body Dementia is not preventable, but there are certain risks that make it more likely for one to have it when they are older, such as being over 60, being male, and having history of dementia in the family. In conclusion, LBD is an issue that has an effect 15-35% of all dementias, virtualmedicalcentre. com confirms.
I have realized that I will probably be diagnosed with this when I am older, because my grandma, and great-grandma on my dads side both had this, and my great-grandma on my moms side is getting the beginning signs of LBD. Because of research, we can understand why certain things happen to us, and how they happen.
Works Cited “Dementia. ” Google Health. Web. 30 Oct. 2010. . Mayo Clinic Staff. “Lewy Body Dementia – MayoClinic. com. ” Mayo Clinic Medical Information and Tools for Healthy Living – MayoClinic. com. 17 Sept. 2010. Web. 30 Oct. 2010. . Welcome to the Lewy Body Dementia Association. Web. 31 Oct. 2010. .