Thursday, 14 April 2016

Lewy body

We're back at Dementia station, today you are going to learn about Lewy body dementia.

Lewy bodies dementia is named after microscopic changes in the brain, which differentiate from all other types of dementia. In the UK, it is thought that 10,000 suffer from dementia with Lewy bodies at the moment of time there is 700,000 people with this type of dementia and the number is only going in increase unless a cure is found.

Dementia with lewy bodies is a type of dementia that shares symptoms with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Dementia with lewy bodies can be mistaken as other conditions.


Lewy bodies dementia is causes by an abnormal amount of protein called lewy bodies inside brain cells. These are also found in people with Parkinson's disease so they are similar to each other. They disrupt the brains normal function and interfere with the chemical signals that are passed from one brain cell to another. Lewy body dementia usually occurs in people that have no history of the condition, even though there have been rare cases that lewy body been inherited from family.

Lewy bodies are tiny bits of protein in the nerve cells. They are linked to low levels of chemical messages and a loss of connections between the nerve cells. Overtime, the nerve cells die and there is a loss of brain tissue.

Signs and symptoms

Like other types of dementia, the condition cause symptoms of thinking speed, language, understanding, judgement and memory. However, significant memory loss may not occur until later on. A person with lewy body dementia might display a symptom of extreme swings between alertness and confusion or drownnissness, which can change unexpectedly from hour to hour to day to day. Furthermore, they might have slow movements, get stiff limbs this will cause a person shuffle when they are walking. A person with lewy body dementia might experience hallucinations where they hear or see things are not actually real and can range from being pleasant to distressing.

Lewy bodies can also be found in the brains of people Parkinson’s disease, and so people with this type of dementia often have a number of symptoms that affect their movement.

Someone with lewy body dementia may experience fluctuating consciousness. This is where a person experience large swings in levels of confusion. Some days the confusion is extreme and are unable to function whereas other people could follow the plot of a film or play a game of cards pretty decently these fluctuations can also happen minute by minute or hour by hour.
Around two thirds of people with lewy body dementia experience visual hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t there but are visual that they seem real). People who experience hallucinations commonly see animals these can  be quite pleasant for some people, but frightening hallucinations can be pleasantly distressing.
Spontaneous parkinsonism produces the usual symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as muscle stiffness, slow movement, tremor, shakiness and less of facial expressions.
Someone with lewy body dementia may experience visuospatial difficulties. The start of the dementia can be heralded by increasing clumsiness. As people are robbed of their ability to judge widths and distances falls and breakages are common, as are bumps (or worse)when parking or driving a car.
The thought processing (cognitive symptoms) of dementia are all those of loss. People with lewy body dementia with, to one degree or another, lose their memory, their judgement and quite literally their way.
Another symptom that a person with lewy body dementia may experience sleep disorders, a person might be able to sleep easily during the day, but are restless and disturbed at night because of rapid eye movement where the person tries to act nightmares. This can be very distressing or can be physically harmful for partners.
Physical aggression can be direct result of changes in the brain caused by dementia, or side effacers from medication that is prescribed to treat the dementia. Paranoid delusion and hallucinations can also prompt protectively aggressive reactions. Equally, though aggression can be caused by things that would annoy anyone but that generate a more extreme reaction as a result of the disinhibitions that can occur due to changes in the brain. These other triggers include; noisy surroundings, pain, hunger, thirst, and the person simply not getting on with someone.



People with lewy body dementia are at a higher risk of falls. Especially in the later stages a person may experience a worsening, movement problem which means that when a person walks they get slower and less steady. This means falls become more common.

Eventually someone with lewy body dementia is likely to need intensive nursing care. This can make the person feel they are loosening their home and unable to look after themselves.

During the later stage of dementia a person with lewy body dementia may experience problems with day-to-day memory which is very similar to those people with Alzheimer’s in the middle or later stage. This would affect the individual ability to remember the common words for things which can lead to frustration and confusion, even anger. Furthermore, this can make a conversation an extreme trail.
A person with dementia may lose they identity because no on would include them in the conversation. No one would adapt the way they say things which can make someone with lewy body dementia feel excluded or isolated.

If a person can’t comprehend what has been said, this person might need more time more to process the information unfortunately their relatives don’t allow their loved ones enough time to process the information. In fact they rush there loved  which can make this individual become frustrated, People can also become frustrated if they can’t find the answer to a question which means they could respond back with irritation or even aggression.


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