Saturday, March 12, 2011

About Alzheimer's Disease: The Frustrations of Lewy Body Dementia

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From Andrew Rosenzweig, MD, your Guide to Alzheimer's Disease
A reader recently wrote me about what he aptly described as "the most alarming, traumatic, and daunting of the dementias we see." With Lewy Body Dementia, he noted, comes "frantic phone calls and cries for help from caregivers" much more than from Alzheimer's disease. Having treated people with dementia for over 15 years now, I'm convinced that Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is the second most common type of dementia, and this week's newsletter tries to shed some light on this controversial and frustrating illness.

Introduction to Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy body dementia is associated with deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein inside nerve cells in the brain. People with Lewy body dementia experience impairment in their perception, thinking, and behavior. They also experience visual hallucinations, Parkinson's-like symptoms, and fluctuating alertness.... Read more

Treatment of Dementia with Lewy Bodies
The skepticism that some doctors feel about using cholinesterase inhibitors for Alzheimer's disease should not apply to DLB. Specifically, a study showed that Exelon (rivastigmine) helps some of the behavioral disturbances in patients with DLB, including anxiety, apathy, and hallucinations.... Read more

Parkinson's Disease Dementia
Some research suggests that Dementia with Lewy Bodies is related to Parkinson's Disease Dementia. Both cause significant sleep problems, and both have high amounts of a protein called alpha synuclein... Read more

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
If you or a loved one have ever acted out dreams while remaining asleep, it could be a condition known as REM sleep behavior disorder. This condition may occur in people with Lewy Body Dementia or Parkinson's Disease Dementia... Read more


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This newsletter is written by:
Andrew Rosenzweig, MD
Alzheimer's Disease Guide
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