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Dementia care: Hallucinations are an early sign to look out for in Lewy body dementia

Fitness & Health:

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) differs from other types of progressive dementia, and its symptoms can also mimic other diseases and disorders. LBD is most common in adults over the age of 50, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and watch for them as you or your loved one’s age. One of those symptoms is hallucinations.

Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, individuals in the early stages of Lewy Body Dementia may exhibit cognitive changes such as hallucinations or distortions of reality, said Lewy Body Dementia experts.

The health site added: “In general, hallucinations caused by LBD are vivid and usually visual, rather than auditory.

“LBD differs from other forms of dementia in that most early-stage cases do not involve memory loss.

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“Lewy Body Dementia causes changes in the nervous system, which can lead to shifts in behaviour and mood.”

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Some research has found a correlation between the presence of hallucinations and an increased amount of cognitive impairment in Lewy body dementia.

Hallucinations in LBD have also been associated with a decrease in quality of life; thus, having an awareness of how to respond to them can be very helpful for both the person living with LBD and their caregiver.

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If your loved one is very upset and distraught about their hallucinations, you will want to use caution and provide some extra space between you and them, advised Very Well Health.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing LBD can be challenging, said the National Institute of Ageing.

“Early Lewy body dementia symptoms are often confused with similar symptoms found in other brain diseases like Alzheimer’s or in psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia.

“Also, Lewy body dementia can occur alone or along with other brain disorders.

There are two diagnoses of LBD—dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s disease dementia.

“The earliest signs differ but reflect the same biological changes in the brain.

“Over time, people with dementia with Lewy bodies or Parkinson’s disease dementia may develop similar symptoms.”


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