Lewy Body Dementia Awareness

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

As per this press release from the NYU Langone Medical Center, October is Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) Awareness Month.

Like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, LBD is characterized by impaired thinking and behavioral disruptions.  Because of these similarities, it is often misdiagnosed and improperly treated.

Three out of 4 LBD patients are initially misdiagnosed and the majority of patients see more than 3 doctors for more than 10 visits over 18 months before a diagnosis is established.

The obvious solution to the problem of delayed diagnosis is education, for both the public and for their doctors.

Here are a few facts about LBD to start you on the process of building higher education and awareness:
  • LBD core symptoms include: memory and thinking problems, movement problems, hallucinations, sleep disturbances and fluctuations in attention and concentration
  • LBD patients have more prominent problems with visual-spatial skills (such as depth perception, bumping into objects, not seeing things in front of them)
  • LBD patients experience a more rapid functional decline than Alzheimer’s disease patients with shorter intervals to nursing home placement and death
  • LBD patients have personality changes such as loss of interest, become more passive, quiet or withdrawn, and have trouble paying attention
  • The combination of cognitive, motor and behavioral symptoms place severe burden and stress on caregivers who often find themselves socially isolated
  • LBD patients are more likely to suffer from depression