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Lewy Body Dementia: The Under-Recognized but Common Foe

LBD family caregivers on LBDA’s Facebook page are heaping praise on a new article on LBD by Dr. James E. Galvin and Dr. Meera Balasubramaniam, published in Cerebrum, the e-magazine of the Dana Foundation.

“I hope one day soon LBD can be diagnosed early so family and caregivers know what to expect. If only we had known more…best article I've read on this subject. Thanks!”

“One of the best articles on LBD that I have read — and I have read every one I can get my eyes on.”

“My 87 year old mother was diagnosed this about 9 months ago. It is a terrible disease. Hallucinations came about with lots of falls, thanking nothing broken. She now hardly speaks but still understands. I hate seeing her this way. Thanks for a wonderful article.”

“My beautiful dad has been in hospital for 10 weeks, he was only diagnosed a week before hospital with LBD, we finally got him into a home yesterday after many ups and downs with the meds to settle him. When I read this awesome article I thought I wish I had read it 12 months ago it would have explained a lot. My heart goes out to anyone with LBD as it is such an awful illness.”

“This is such a helpful article. Wish I had read it two years ago. Would have explained a lot.”

“Really good info on early detection and how these symptoms differ between LBD and Alzheimer's.”

“The best article I've ever read on the clinical and caregiving complexities of LBD. Thank you!”

“One of the best articles for lay people that I've read on the subject of LBD.”

Lewy Body Dementia: The Under-Recognized but Common Foe

By Dr. Meera Balasubramaniam and Dr. James E. Galvin
Excerpt reprinted from Cerebrum, the Dana Foundation's online journal on brain research.

“He’s no longer the same, nor the person he used to be,” says Mrs. A of her husband of 52 years. Mr. A, a 70-year-old retired professor, looks strangely unaffected as Mrs. A helps steady his way as he cautiously approaches the clinic’s examination table. Until two years ago, his family saw him as perfectly healthy, a talented musician and the doting father of two adult children. But when he started relying on “sticky notes” to keep up with his daily activities and needed help to handle routine tasks, they began to suspect something was wrong. Over time, he became distant and withdrawn, and would stare into space, a pale shadow of his once gregarious self.

Mrs. A shows the neurologist the bruise Mr. A sustained the previous night, following another of his terrible nightmares. Mr. A falls asleep during a portion of the interview, as he often does during the day. Mrs. A says there are “good days and bad days” as she recounts the first time her husband talked about seeing “little animals” that she knew did not exist. While he is unable to recall what he had for dinner the previous night, he remembers “fried rice” when his wife reminds him that they enjoyed his daughter’s favorite recipe. As Mrs. A fights back tears, she asks the neurologist, “They say it’s Lewy body dementia. Is that the same as Alzheimer’s?”

Read the full article in Cerebrum.