Life is but a fleeting moment. I have heard this several times as lines from movies, read it from some novel, and even saw it in some advertisement. Life is fleeting, it slips by seconds, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day until you haven’t noticed that you’ve let an entire year slip by without actually realizing it or accomplish anything remarkable.
Before I go too far, what if for you, life really is a fleeting moment. That at any given second your world might stop and literally render you incapable of moving the way you used to? What if tomorrow you forget the names that go along with the faces of the people you knew your entire life? Or if you fall into a spiral of unimaginable sadness. “What if”, is just to start a hypothetical statement but for some folks, these “what if’s” are their reality. A sad reality that life for them is literally fleeting.
Today we are going to take a closer look at sickness, a disease that has rendered thousands if not more unable to live their life the full extent that they want. We will be talking all about LBD or Lewy Body Dementia and the 7 Stages of this disease.
When It All Began
There is always a moment in history when certain events would pave the way for extraordinary discoveries. This often happens in such a mundane and sedate environment and only until a “eureka” moment arrives, is when one scientist, doctor, individual realizes that this moment can change everything. Well, our “eureka” moment happened way back 1912 when a certain Dr. Frederich Lewy who at that time was a German neurologist working in the laboratory of Dr. Alois Alzheimer, discovered the presence of alpha-synuclein protein in the form of clumps that disrupts the rather normal function of the brain of some patients. This certain kind of protein is now considered to be the chief proponent of Lewy Body Dementia, so-called after the doctor that discovered them.
Lewy bodies are clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein that have been formed and are now manifested in Lewy Body Dementia. These clumps start forming within neurons much observably in the areas that control aspects of movement and memory. Naturally, because clumps have started to overtake the neurons, these said neurons eventually function less that gradually leads to their death.
Stages of Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy Body Dementia is a slow progressive kind of disease. It affects at least a million folks in America alone. With symptoms correctly diagnosed, the disease may last up to an average of 5-8 years until the patient’s death. Diagnosis of this particular disease is not that easy as some of its symptoms are reflective of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s Disease. But here are the stages of progression that are of Lewy Body Dementia.
Hallucinations may occur and recur in people with Lewy Body Dementia. They may at times declare to be seeing things that aren’t there and at some point may even be hearing and smelling things.
Sleep disruption can cause a patient to act out specific scenes from his/her dream while sleeping.
Difficulty in moving similar to those that manifest in Parkinson’s Disease like rigid muscles, tremors in the body, falls, impaired speech, and slowed movements.
Impaired ability to think (memory loss, poor attention span, or long periods of time looking at nothing, confusion, and visual-spatial problems much like in some patients that have Alzheimer’s Disease.
Depression. Patients will experience periods of depression while the disease is running its course.
The slow deterioration of the functions of the Autonomic Nervous System.
A feeling of Apathy or loss of interest in things or lack of emotion.
Who Can Get Lewy Body Dementia?
LBD is so hard to diagnose and only when manifestations of its stages of progression appear do physicians get a clear picture of what they are dealing with. But who exactly can get LBD? Most studies show that the male population is more likely to develop LBD than females. LBD also seems to manifest in people around the age of 50. But it doesn’t mean that younger people or women won’t be able to catch LBD it’s just that men 50 years older are the most likely to develop LBD.
Lewy Body Dementia And Its Relationship with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
In retrospect, the discovery of Lewy bodies in the brain happened when Dr. Lewy was studying the workings of the brain of those who already have Parkinson’s disease. He stumbled upon these peculiar proteins namely, Alpha-synuclein, during the 1900s but it was not until further studies were conducted that certain relationships were drawn between Lewy Bodies and Lewy Body Dementia with that of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Some patients of LBD may exhibit symptoms of slowed, rigid movement, and hunched posture. There are also patients of Parkinson’s Disease that may later exhibit cognitive impairment which is also symptoms found in people with Alzheimer’s and LBD such as:
- Gradual memory loss
- Tingles patients
To sum it all up, there is a glaring overlap of symptoms between the three mentioned diseases. These lead the experts to conclude that there is an underlying abnormality in the brain and the way it processes alpha-synuclein that can be linked to the three.
Patients with Lewy Body Dementia need to feel loved and cared for. They need to be shown that life is not just a fleeting moment. Even if it is, we must show that there is something more to look forward to. There is still hope now more than ever with the advances in medicine and technology.