One of the most confusing things about Lewy body disease is how the different disorders in the spectrum affect how the body moves. People usually say that Parkinson's disease is a condition that gets worse over time and makes it hard to control your movements.
But remember that Parkinson's is more than just a movement disease. People with Parkinson's often have problems with their autonomic systems (which control things like temperature) and have problems with how they think, feel, and act. Later-stage Parkinson's patients are more likely to experience cognitive decline and dementia.
DLB symptoms include difficulty staying focused, delusions, and difficulties with mobility and sleep.
How Does Dementia with Lewy Body Affect People?
The location of the Lewy bodies in the brain will play a role in how severely DLB impacts a person. Disabilities in mobility are often associated with Lewy bodies at the brain's base. Those are the hallmarks of Parkinson's disease.
Problems in the brain's outer layers, especially in the substantia nigra, are signs of DLB and other types of dementia. The initial stages of DLB may not be too challenging for the person affected. However, after time, these deteriorate and become a nuisance.
What are the Symptoms of Dementia with Lewy Bodies?
Dementia affects people in a variety of ways. As with Alzheimer's disease, DLB can lead to
- Problems with concentration and decision-making
- Memory loss
- Issues with the individual's perceptual framework
DLB can also produce signs not often associated with Alzheimer's disease. They consist of the following:
- Hallucinations \ problems staying awake, trouble moving around, and restless, disrupted sleep.
Common Physical Changes
Dementia with Lewy bodies differs slightly in its movement abnormalities from Parkinson's disease.
Parkinson's disease can cause tremors, rigidity (when muscles are stiff), postural instability (when it's hard to keep your posture and balance), and bradykinesia (slow movement).
Dopamine replacement therapies successfully alleviate symptoms, typically manifest on only one side of the body (e.g., levadopa).
People with dementia with Lewy bodies are more likely to have a stiff torso and have more trouble staying balanced than people with Parkinson's disease. They also respond less dramatically to dopamine replacement therapy, have less tremor overall, and show no discernible difference in the severity of symptoms between their two sides of the body.
Parkinson's disease is often mistaken for dementia with Lewy bodies. Because of this, it's important to remember the differences between the two conditions.
Symptoms in the Later Stages of Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB)
In most cases, DLB worsens over several years. As the condition progresses, the patient may:
- Difficulty with day-to-day recall starts to worsen
- Become considerably more sensitive to the emotions of others, leading to increased irritability, restlessness, or yelling.
- Slow down and lose balance, increasing the likelihood of tripping and hurting yourself.
- Have trouble communicating and swallowing, which might increase the likelihood of catching a cold or choking.
- Chewing and swallowing may become harder, and the person's stomach and intestines may not move food around the body. This can cause the person to lose their appetite, feel sick, and have pain.
The Final Verdict
Physical symptoms of cognitive decline may include rigidity, hunching, and shuffling. As a result of these movement limitations, the chance of falling increases. Dementia can appear physically in several ways, including stiff movements, slumped posture, and shuffling. The danger of falling increases because of these mobility difficulties.