One of the most common forms of dementia is called Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). Developing either slowly or quickly over time, LBD can easily be confused for schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s. When LBD is combined with other brain disorders, individuals can experience symptoms rather quickly, according to nia.nih.gov.
The average lifespan of someone diagnosed with LBD is between 5-8 years, while recent studies have shown some individuals living up to 20 years after diagnosis.
First Signs Of Lewy Body Dementia
LBD is classified in three stages: early, middle and late. Typically, the start of LBD includes some hallucinations and mild delusions. Individuals suffering in the early stages of LBD tend to act out dreams while sleeping. Slight difficulties in mobility may also be included in the early stages.
For the most part, memory will stay intact during the early days, but moments of confusion can still occur. Slight cognitive changes can be noticed at this time, as well. The 7 stages of LBD are detailed below.
LBD Stage 1: No Noticeable Changes
Stage 1 of LBD usually goes unnoticed by friends and family. Individuals in stage 1 generally show zero signs of the disease, and at this stage LBD should not have any impact on the individuals’ life.
- No symptoms at this point.
LBD Stage 2: Mild Changes
Stage 2, consistent with stage 1, yields very few noticeable changes. Memory issues are typically passed off as a normal part of aging.
- Some difficulty finding the right words.
- Normal functioning both in and out of the home.
- Ability to overcome most memory issues.
LBD Stage 3: Noticeable Changes
Stage 3 tends to be the stage of LBD that others begin to notice behavioral changes. Changes in the suffering individual’s action, thinking and overall reasoning. Memory issues will persist at this stage, unfortunately.
- Forgetful at times.
- Problems recalling correct names or words.
- Difficulty managing money.
- Trouble paying attention.
LBD Stage 4: Mild Dementia
Most individuals suffering through stage 4 can still correctly recall family, friends and specific past events.
- Forgetting certain items and names.
- Miscues while driving.
- Issues with daily routines.
- More trouble with money management.
- Forgetting where certain items were placed.
LBD Stage 5: Moderate Decline
Despite some moderate difficulties, individuals should recognize loved ones, but memory issues will persist. Most individuals will require some help performing daily tasks in this stage.
- Personality changes.
- Mood swings.
- Repetitive thoughts and questions.
- Memory gaps.
- Bladder problems.
LBD Stage 6: Severe Decline
Unfortunately, memories will really start to fade during this stage. Hiring someone for round-the-clock care is recommended during these final stages.
- Getting lost and confused.
- Trouble speaking.
- Frequent delusions.
- Swift personality and mood changes.
- Lack of awareness.
- Strange eating habits.
LBD Stage 7: Severe Dementia
The last stage of LBD includes the individual no longer recognizing friends and family. Round-the-clock care is essential at this point.
- Loss of ability to speak, eat and swallow.
- Constantly disoriented.
- Loss of bladder/bowel control.
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