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GMB: Jackie Stewart says his wife's dementia gets 'very serious'

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Lewy body dementia is named after Frederich H. Lewy, the neurologist who discovered them. Also known as Dementia with Lewy bodies, Lew body dementia is a form of dementia. According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, gastrointestinal bleeding symptoms mayo “For every 100 people who have dementia, about 10-15 will have dementia with Lewy bodies”. The Lewy Body Society (LBS), along with several charities, has a guide to the symptoms that can affect Lew body dementia sufferers. These won’t apply for every patient, but they do occur in some combinations.

These include what are described by the LBS as “Core symptoms”.

They are:
• Fluctuating states of consciousness
• Visual hallucinations
• Spontaneous Parkinsonism

Fluctuating states of consciousness refers to “extreme swings from alertness to confusion”.

Visual hallucinations are exactly that.

LBS says that “Two thirds of patients with DLB experience vivid and recurrent visual hallucinations.”

The nature of these hallucinations varies from patient to patient.

Spontaneous Parkinsonism refers to difficulties in moving about.

LBS says people experience rigidity, slow movement, and falls, but not tremors.

However, those with Lewy Body dementia tend to have greater difficulty when it comes to balancing, walking and facial impassiveness (not showing any sign of feeling or emotion).

Lewy Body dementia shares some symptoms with Alzheimer’s, another form of dementia. 

Although LBS notes: “If a person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease can sometimes play cards or follow a game of cricket, it could be DLB (Dementia with Lewy bodies) instead”.

As mentioned, Lewy Body dementia is a form of dementia, one of the fastest growing conditions in the UK in terms of numbers of people affected.

According to prevalence projections by Alzheimer’s Research UK, one million people in the UK will have dementia by 2025.

This could double to two million by 2050.

Due to the growing numbers, a lot of effort is being put into finding a cure and developing preventative treatments for all forms of dementia.

Whilst we don’t know how to prevent dementia the moment, there are ways you can lower your risk.

This includes increasing your social circle; isolation and loneliness have been found to increase your risk of developing dementia.

Researchers have also discovered that a healthy heart can reduce your risk.

Eating a healthy diet and staying fit by exercising regularly are both consequently recommended.

If you have any questions about dementia, there support groups up and down the country that can help you if you or someone you love is in need of support.

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