Lewy body Dementia (LBD) is a type of progressive dementia that leads to a decline in thinking, reasoning and independent function because of abnormal microscopic deposits that damage brain cells over time.

Facts about lewy body dementia

  • second most common type of dementia
  • most misdiagnosed!
  • protein deposits called lewy bodies develop in nerve cells
  • in brain regions involved in thinking, memory and movement

Commonly found with a second condition:

  • Alzheimer’s dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • vascular dementia
  • alcohol related dementia

age: over 60 affects more men than women

risk factors: family history of lewy body or Parkinson’s disease

www.istock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Symptoms

  • confusion
  • visual hallucinations which are usually scary
  • change in alertness and attention-can stare off into space for long periods of time
  • Parkinson’s symptoms such as muscle rigidity, tremors, shuffling gait
  • dizziness and falls
  • hand posturing
  • bowel problems such as constipation
  • apathy and loss of motivation
  • depression can be present
  • drowsiness and long naps

How we can help

Visual Hallucinations: greet person in their line of sight so they look at you, not the hallucination. remember to use supportive stance-one foot front and weight on back leg. turn body slightly to the side. arms relaxed and in view. change the subject and keep them looking at you or something they like

Apathy: find out things they have been interested in the past and engage them in it or talk about it. or engage them in something new and simple tiredness and varying sleep cycles: don’t get too caught up in night and day for sleep. allow to sleep when tired, engage additional care partners if necessary when they are awake at night

Refusal of Care: if care is refused, reapproach after going to do something else or ask someone else to approach and attempt

Focus on what the person can do!

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