Lewy Body Dementia and REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

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Lewy body dementia is when a person’s brain has trouble controlling the body’s functions. This includes blood pressure, pulse, sweating, digestion, and other functions. People with this disorder often experience sudden drops in blood pressure when they stand up, are dizzy, lose bladder control, and experience memory loss. Additionally, a person with Lewy body dementia may experience rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (REM sleep behavior disorder), in which they physically behave while asleep.

REM sleep behavior disorder

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have discovered a potential link between REM sleep behavior disorder and Lewy body dementia. This condition is characterized by sleep disturbances and a buildup of abnormal protein clumps in the brain. They say this could help doctors better understand the disease and find ways to slow the progression. This new study looks at patients with Lewy body dementia who also have REM sleep behavior disorder.

REM sleep behavior disorder is a common co-morbid condition that often precedes the onset of neurodegenerative diseases. Approximately thirty percent of people with REM sleep behavior disorder develop Parkinson’s disease, multiple symptom atrophy, or a neurodegenerative disorder. In some cases, REM sleep behavior disorder can appear suddenly, or it may develop gradually. However, regardless of the onset, REM sleep behavior disorder symptoms often worsen over time.

Memory loss

Symptoms of Lewy body dementia (LBD) can be hard to detect. As a result, the disease’s early symptoms are often mistaken for symptoms of other brain disorders or psychiatric disorders. Some people develop the disease alone, while others experience it with other brain disorders. It is progressive and can last anywhere from five to eight years. However, it can last much longer in some people, and its symptoms can vary significantly from one person to the next.

If you suspect your loved one may be suffering from Lewy body dementia, talk to your GP. They can assess your symptoms and refer you to a memory clinic or doctor specializing in this type of dementia. While there is no single treatment for LBD, the disease is treatable. The best way to cope with it is to learn as much as possible about your loved one’s condition and make plans with their healthcare team. Moreover, talking about your wishes and preferences can help you enjoy a higher quality of life in the future. It will also ease the burden on your family members.

Movement problems

Movement problems are among the first signs of Lewy body dementia (LBD). However, diagnosing the condition in its early stages is difficult because the symptoms often resemble other forms of dementia. Therefore, it is essential to see a doctor to be able to diagnose and treat the condition properly. Doctors will use the person’s medical history and physical examination to diagnose. They will also run brain imaging and blood tests to rule out other causes of the symptoms.

Symptoms of Lewy body dementia may include movement problems and impaired mental abilities. However, doctors will also need to check for certain medications in the patient and assess their side effects. Certain medications may reduce the severity of the symptoms. Some people may also have sleep problems. People with Lewy body dementia should avoid using sleep aids that contain diphenhydramine and limit their use of sedatives.

Parkinson’s disease

Lewy body dementia is a neurodegenerative disorder in people with Parkinson’s. It is characterized by tremors, rigid muscles, and slow, shuffling movements. Symptoms of this type of dementia can develop years before symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear. This condition is also characterized by an abnormal buildup of the protein alpha-synuclein in the brain.

There are similarities and differences between DLB and Alzheimer’s disease dementia. Both have overlapping pathologies and a poor prognosis. However, there are some essential differences between the two disorders. Some experts believe that the two disorders are part of the same, known as generalized synucleinopathy.

Treatment

Lewy body dementia is difficult to diagnose, and symptoms may mimic those of other dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease. However, a family doctor can diagnose by asking about the symptoms and conducting physical and lab tests to rule out other conditions. A doctor may also prescribe antipsychotic medications to help treat the symptoms of the disease.

Besides a diagnosis, Lewy body dementia treatment should include a long-term care plan. This can help improve patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life. Caregiver education and lifestyle changes can also be effective in slowing the progression of the disease.