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Understanding Lewy Body Disease

By Rick Cohen, 8:00 am on

Lewy body disease is a common cause of dementia that may occur alone, or with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Due to the similarity between the symptoms of these disorders, it can sometimes be difficult for a patient to receive an accurate diagnosis. This disease typically occurs in patients 50 years of age or older, and one should keep in mind that the severity of symptoms will increase over time. If your aging parent or loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, click here to learn about in-home dementia care in Milwaukee, and read on for more information about Lewy Body disease.

The symptoms associated with Lewy body disease occur due to abnormal protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, which begin to build up in the patient’s brain. Symptoms may include the following behavioral changes:

  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Changes in mental alertness
  • Inability to pay attention or focus
  • Memory loss
  • Altered movement or posture
  • Sleep disruptions

Although there is not currently a cure for Lewy body disease, patients who receive an early diagnosis have the best chances for a better quality of life. For most patients, medications can be prescribed that will help to reduce symptoms such as hallucinations, muscle rigidity and sleep disruptions that can pose a threat to a senior’s physical and mental well-being. Therapy can also provide benefits for a patient’s speech and emotional health. Additionally, it is recommended that Lewy body disease patients establish a daily routine that includes exercise, a nutritious diet, and mentally-stimulating activities.

After a diagnosis of Lewy body disease, most patients will eventually need assistance with their daily activities. Senior adults and their families should learn as much as they can about specific symptoms and develop a network of support including a medical team, professional home caregivers, and others who have had their lives affected by this condition. While it may not be possible to reverse the effects of this common disease, it is possible to find strategies for coping that will protect a senior’s health and safety while strengthening family bonds.

Lewy body disease is accompanied by complex symptoms that even the most loving and devoted family caregivers are unable to assist with. If you need help with the care of an aging parent or loved one with Lewy body disease, learn more about professional care services in Milwaukee by visiting www.milwaukeehomecareassistance.com or by dialing 414-964-8000 to speak with a devoted Home Care Assistance Care Manager.