After comedian Robin Williams died in 2014, it was discovered that his brain was "riddled with Lewy bodies."
What are Lewy bodies? Lewy bodies are normal alpha-synuclein proteins in the brain that become damaged and clump together, causing more damage.
What damages the proteins? Researchers believe it is a combination of genes and environment. Exposure to pesticides and petro-chemical toxins appears to increase the likelihood of a person developing a neurological disorder. The type of disorder may depend on the person's genes.
Depending on where the Lewy bodies are in the brain, a person can have any or all of the following pre-dementia disorders:
- REM Sleep Behavior Disorder ("RBD" or "Active Dreams")
- Parkinson's Disease
- Mild Cognitive Impairment-LB
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the umbrella term for two types of dementia:
LBD can also accompany other dementia's, especially these two:
Symptoms depend on where the Lewy bodies are in the brain. Even then, every person's experience will be unique. No two will have the same set of symptoms, although some are common symptoms to all Lewy body disorders:
- Fluctuations in cognition and abilities
- Autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunctions
- Sensory perceptual dysfunctions (especially visual)
Drug sensitivity is a symptom that appears more often as Lewy bodies increase. It causes certain drugs to act as an overdose. It can also make Lewy body-related symptoms worse instead of better. For more about this very serious symptom, click here.
Although treatment for all Lewy body disorders depends on the disorder and the symptoms, some drugs and most non-drug options are generally helpful. For more information on options and therapies, click here.
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The Caregivers Guide to Lewy Body Dementia by award winning authors Helen and James Whitworth is the first book to present a thorough picture of Lewy body dementia in everyday language.
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson's & Lewy Body Dementia discusses the connections shared with Lewy body dementia and Parkinson's, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders. In addition, the book explains the sensitivity problems often found with many drugs commonly used with dementia while offering a multitude of non-drug options for enhanced care.
This trio pack is rounded out with Riding a Rollercoaster With Lewy Body Dementia, the Whitworth's manual for caregivers of LBD patients.