What is Louie Body Dementia? Louie Body dementia is an alternative spelling of Lewy Body Dementia, a type of dementia commonly associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In fact, because the symptoms between both of these diseases and Lewy Body dementia are so similar, some doctors are uncertain as to whether Lewy Body dementia is a separate condition, or simply a variant of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Like many other forms of dementia, Lewy Body dementia is a progressive disease for which there is no known cure. It is the second most common form of degenerative dementia diagnosed in elderly patients and accounts for around 10% of cases, although it is often misdiagnosed.
What is Louie body dementia and what other variations of the name are commonly used?
There are several variants of the name including Lewy body disease, diffuse Lewy body disease, cortical Lewy body disease, Lewy body variant of Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease with dementia.
Where is the term “Lewy Body” derived from?
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) takes its name from the abnormal structures found in nerve cells inside the brain of patients diagnosed with the condition. One of the main features of dementia is the death of brain cells leading to a loss of mental faculties in the patient. In Lewy body dementia cases, brain cells from the outer cortex and mid-brain substantia nigra section begin to die. The remaining nerve cells in the substantia nigra part of the brain form abnormal structures known as Lewy bodies, caused by an accumulation of an alpha-protein; the same protein has also been linked to Parkinson’s disease.
What are the symptoms of Lewy body dementia?
Many of the symptoms of Lewy body dementia are similar to those seen in Parkinson’s disease, although in the early stages of the disease these are either very mild or not yet present. Such symptoms include stiffness and rigidity in muscles, tremors, and difficulties with spontaneous movement.
Other common symptoms of Lewy body dementia are similar to those suffered by Alzheimer’s patients and include memory loss, confusion, and a decline in cognitive function. Patients diagnosed with Lewy body dementia can also suffer from hallucinations and other mental disorders in the early stages of the disease. Other Lewy body symptoms include repeated falls, low blood pressure, impotence, constipation, dizziness or fainting, and difficulty swallowing.
What is Louie body dementia and is there any treatment for the condition?
Whilst there is no cure for Lewy body dementia, there are several treatments available that can help to alleviate the symptoms and control the progress of the disease. Many of the available treatments are targeted at the Parkinson’s related symptoms and help reduce the muscles tremors and movement issues patients are experiencing, although these drugs can sometimes exacerbate the related psychiatric symptoms.
Other Lewy body dementia medications are aimed at treating and controlling the psychiatric symptoms commonly seen in this type of dementia. Research has shown that neuroleptic drugs can help, but because these types of medications sometimes cause nasty side-effects, other forms of treatment will normally be the first course of action.