Dementia is easily misdiagnosed. For example, doctors often mistake Lewy Body dementia for Alzheimer's. It is essential to diagnose Lewy Body dementia correctly, as it requires different medications and unique caregiving techniques. Join Teepa Snow and other experts as they explore this common type of dementia.
What is Dementia With Lewy Bodies?
Is there any treatment?There is no cure for DLB. Treatments are aimed at controlling the cognitive, psychiatric, and motor symptoms of the disorder. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil and rivastigmine, are primarily used to treat the cognitive symptoms of DLB, but they may also be of some benefit in reducing the psychiatric and motor symptoms. Doctors tend to avoid prescribing antipsychotics for hallucinatory symptoms of DLB because of the risk that neuroleptic sensitivity could worsen the motor symptoms. Some individuals with DLB may benefit from the use of levodopa for their rigidity and loss of spontaneous movement.
What is the prognosis?Like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, DLB is a neurodegenerative disorder that results in progressive intellectual and functional deterioration. There are no known therapies to stop or slow the progression of DLB. Average survival after the time of diagnosis is similar to that in Alzheimer’s disease, about 8 years, with progressively increasing disability.
What research is being done?The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducts research related to DLB in laboratories at the NIH and also supports additional research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. Much of this research focuses on searching for the genetic roots of DLB, exploring the molecular mechanisms of alpha-synuclein accumulation, and discovering how Lewy bodies cause the particular symptoms of DLB and the other synucleinopathies. The goal of NINDS research is to find better ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure disorders such as DLB.
NIH Patient Recruitment for Dementia With Lewy Bodies Clinical Trials
Lewy Body Dementia Association
912 Killian Hill Road, S.W.
Lilburn, GA 30047
Tel: Telephone: 404-935-6444 LBD Caregiver Link: 800-539-9767
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