Causes and risk factors
The exact cause of Lewy body dementia is unknown. But it is associated with development of a protein called Lewy bodies which are deposited in the nerve cells in the brain. This condition is found in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease too. Risk factors for the disease are age above 60 years, being male, having family history of dementia.
Principal symptom consists of dementia. It involves deficits in attention and carrying out day today functions. Other symptoms include hallucinations especially visual. Movement difficulties such as seen in Parkinson’s disease like tremors, rigidity are seen, poor bodily functions can be present like low blood pressure, weak pulse, indigestion which can cause dizziness, bowel issues. Cognitive difficulties, difficulties in alertness, depression, sleep disorders can also be presenting symptoms. Patient may experience repeated falls, fainting, transient loss of consciousness, autonomic dysfunction, visuospatial disturbances and other psychiatric disturbances.
Medical history by the patient and Clinical examination by the psychiatrist helps in diagnosis. Progressive decline of thinking ability, along with Parkinsonism symptoms and hallucinations suspect Lewy body dementia. Neurological examination for sensory and motor reflexes is done. EEG is recommended for presence of other conditions like epilepsy. Routine blood tests are advised. Imaging studies such as CT scan, MRI, and PET scan may be useful for further evaluation.
Treatment involves medications like antioxidants, cholinesterase inhibitors, anti psychotic medicines. It consists of treatment of Parkinson’s disease as well. Further treatment consists of environmental modifications in the patient’s daily routine. Changes in behaviour of relatives and care givers towards the patient will also help in managing the condition.
Other Modes of treatment
The other modes of treatment can also be effective in treating Lewy body dementia. Homoeopathy is a science which deals with individualization considers a person in a holistic way. This science can be helpful in combating the symptoms. Similarly the ayurvedic system of medicine which uses herbal medicines and synthetic derivates are also found to be effective in treating Lewy body dementia .