Lewy body dementia is a common type of dementia that results from abnormal microscopic debris that damage brain cells over time. Dementia generally describes clusters of symptoms associated with brain decline, and the Lewy body can cause problems with thinking, movement, behavior, and mood.
According to the Alzheimer Society (AS), up to two-thirds of people with Lewy body dementia will have difficulty moving when the disease is diagnosed, and that number increases as Lewy body dementia progresses.
« These symptoms are similar to Parkinson’s disease and include slow and stiff (rigid) movements with a blank expression, » explains the AS.
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It adds, « They can also have difficulty with their balance and their limbs can sometimes tremble. «
« See your family doctor if you think you may have early symptoms of dementia, especially if you are over 65, » advises the NHS.
« If you are concerned about someone, encourage them to make an appointment with a family doctor, and possibly suggest that they go see them. «
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As the health body explains, the GP can do some simple checks to determine the cause of your symptoms and refer you to a memory clinic or other specialist for more testing if necessary.
« If possible, someone who knows you well should be with you at your GP appointment so they can describe any changes or problems they have noticed, » he advises.
It is not clear why the Lewy body debris develop and how exactly they damage the brain.
Conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol are risk factors for other causes of dementia like Alzheimer’s.
According to Alzheimer Research UK, there is some evidence that this also applies to Lewy body dementia.
« If you have any concerns, speak to your doctor about treating these conditions, » advises the charity.
Recent studies have found several genes associated with a higher risk of Lewy body dementia, including a known risk gene for Alzheimer’s.
While these discoveries help us understand the biology of Lewy body dementia, having such a risk gene does not mean you will definitely develop the disease.
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Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Dementia, Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease
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