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If you are often confused or sleepy it could be a warning sign of Lewy Body Dementia, Says Doctor

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Aakash Molpariya
Aakash started in Nov 2018 as a writer at Revyuh.com. Since joining, as writer, he is mainly responsible for Software, Science, programming, system administration and the Technology ecosystem, but due to his versatility he is used for everything possible. He writes about topics ranging from AI to hardware to games, stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. He is a trained IT systems engineer and has studied computer science. By the way, he is enthusiastic about his own small projects in game development, hardware-handicraft, digital art, gaming and music. Email: aakash (at) revyuh (dot) com

Dementia with Lewy bodies affects around 1.4 million Americans and one of the most common types of dementia, after Alzheimer’s disease, and difficult to treat at an early stage.

Lewy body Dementia (LBD) can develop in people with Parkinson’s disease or have a similar onset of memory issues that one might see in Alzheimer’s disease.

In both cases, doctors see the characteristic “Lewy Bodies” means a buildup of abnormal protein deposits in the brain cells that are responsible for behavior, thinking, and movement.

“Dementia is the development of a change in thinking that affects day-to-day functioning,” says Dr. James Leverenz.

While memory loss is the most well-known symptom of dementia, people with LBD don’t necessarily experience that early on. They often have more insight into the physical and mental changes they’re experiencing compared to people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Like Alzheimer’s disease, LBD can worsen over time. People with LBD commonly show five symptoms:

1.) Mental slow-down

People find they get distracted more easily, stop processing the information as quickly as they used to and multitasking becomes more challenging.

Some trouble is normal as you age, but shouldn’t influence a person’s ability to perform their normal day to day activities.

2.) Visual hallucinations

Patients with LBD may perceive things differently, like a dog or person. They may recognize that the objects don’t exist and usually aren’t frightened by them.

It becomes problematic when people start believing their visual hallucinations are true

says Dr. Leverenz.

If they call the police or can’t fall asleep because they’re scared, we may need to manage this symptom.

3.) Parkinsonism

Some people many times develop Parkinson’s disease-like motor symptoms.

  • Tremors — involuntary shaking of the hands, arms or legs, when just resting or while walking.
  • Shuffling gait, which looks like the person is shuffling their feet as they walk, perhaps bent forward.
  • Slower movements.
  • Stiffness or tightness in the limbs beyond what would occur with normal aging.
  • An imbalance that could lead to a fall.

4.) Fluctuations

A family member, or affected person, may report that there are normal days but other times seems confused or sleepy.

Often the confused or sleep times clear up without any intervention.

If you or a loved one experiencing confusion or sleepy behavior a few times, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.

5.) Sleep disorder

Patients many times have been seen to develop a sleep disorder where they physically behave in their dreams. According to the doctor, such disorders appear much before any other symptoms and are usually noticed by a bed partner. 

We can diagnose the sleep disorder with a sleep study. And there’s a high chance that a person with this disorder will develop LBD or Parkinson’s disease

says Dr. Leverenz.

Often when someone comes in for an evaluation, and we ask about sleep disturbances, the bed partner says, ‘Oh, they’ve been doing that for years.’

If you notice any such change in your bed partner’s behavior, call a doctor. Your partner may not have LBD, but they could have sleep apnea or another sleep disturbance worth treating — so you can both get your 40 winks.

Image Credit: Getty

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