How Does Lewy Body Disease Progress
Lewy body disease;differs from Alzheimer’s disease in that the progression of the disease is usually more rapid. However, like Alzheimer’s disease it is a degenerative condition, eventually leading to complete dependence. Death is usually a result of another illness, such as pneumonia or an infection. The average lifespan after the onset of symptoms is about seven years.
How Exactly Is Lewy Body Dementia Related To Alzheimers Disease And Parkinsons Disease
Lewy body dementia is a broad, general term for dementia in which lewy bodies are present in the brain. Dementia with lewy bodies and Parkinsons disease dementia are two related clinical disorders that make up the general broader category of Lewy body dementia. Sometimes LBD is first diagnosed as Parkinsons disease or Alzheimers disease based on its symptoms.
- Parkinsons disease dementia : You might be diagnosed with Parkinsons disease if you start out with a movement disorder typical to Parkinsons but then have your diagnosis changed to PDD when dementia symptoms develop.
- Alzheimers disease : You might start out with memory or cognitive disorder that leads to a diagnosis of AD. Over time, other distinctive symptoms begin to appear and your diagnosis is then changed to dementia with lewy bodies. Distinctive symptoms of LBD include the changes in attention, alertness and cognitive ability; changes in walking and movement; visual hallucinations; REM sleep behavior disorder and severe sensitivity to some antipsychotics used to treat hallucinations.
Is Vascular Dementia Hereditary
Vascular dementia, which accounts for some 30% of dementia cases in adults over 65, is usually caused by small strokes that go undiagnosed but cause damage by restricting blood flow to the brain. The Alzheimers Association says that;vascular dementia;looks similar enough to Alzheimers disease that the two are often confused.
Some other;hereditary conditions can indirectly raise the risk of vascular dementia. These include heart disease, diabetes, depression, and high blood pressure. Alcoholism isnt hereditary but it often runs in families, and its also a risk factor for vascular dementiaas well as a permanent condition called;substance-induced persisting dementia.;If you have a family history of any these conditions, talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make and medications you may need to reduce the overall risks to your health and brain function.
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Can Vascular Dementia Be Inherited
In most cases, vascular dementia itself is not inherited. However, the underlying health issues that sometimes contribute to this condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, may be passed on from one generation to another.;
Other than in a few, very rare cases, parents cannot pass on vascular dementia to their children. However, a parent may pass certain genes that increase the risk of developing vascular dementia.
The sort of genes that increase the risk of vascular dementia are often the same ones that increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
For this reason, having a healthy lifestyle, such as eating well and staying physically active, are probably more important for preventing vascular dementia than they are in Alzheimer’s disease.
Will I Inherit Dementia From My Parents Is It Hereditary
If youre caring for a relative living with dementia, its natural to be concerned about whether or not you or your children will develop the disease. In reality, there are actually different kinds of dementia and most of them are not hereditary.
Read on to learn about the common types of dementia, and what the chances are for people with relatives diagnosed with dementia to develop the disease.
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Is Huntingtons Disease Hereditary
Huntingtons disease is a relatively rare progressive brain disease that has a clear genetic cause.;Children of parents with Huntingtons;have a 1 in 2 chance of developing it as well. Huntingtons symptoms usually show up in middle adulthood, between the ages of 30 and 55, although about 10% of Huntingtons patients show symptoms before theyre 20 years old. The disease runs its course over the course of 10 to 25 years. Because Huntingtons causes nerve damage in the brain, memory, mood, personality, movement, and speech are all eventually effected.
According to the;Huntingtons Disease Society of America, the gene that could lead to the disease exists in every person but only people who inherit a faulty copy of the gene from a parent will go on to develop Huntingtons. The disease affects men and women in roughly equal numbers. Members of all races and ethnic groups are at equal risk for developing Huntingtons.
What Is Lewy Body Disease
Lewy body disease;is caused by the degeneration and death of nerve cells in the brain. The name comes from the presence of abnormal spherical structures, called Lewy bodies, which develop inside nerve cells. It is thought that these may contribute to the death of the brain cells. They are named after the doctor who first wrote about them. It is sometimes referred to as Diffuse Lewy body disease.
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Requirements For Future Dlb Genetic Studies
Genetic research in DLB is only just beginning to come together, providing hope for future characterization of the genetic architecture of the disease. In order to identify additional genes implicated in DLB, it will be imperative to study more individuals with the disease. This will require collaborative approaches in order to increase cohort numbers and more studies that are focused on replicating results. As well as generating genetic data, it is important to collect detailed clinical and pathological data on patients studied.
There is a clear need for more unbiased genetic studies . The majority of genetic studies in DLB thus far have been hypothesis based, largely trying to identify candidate genes . Table 1 also highlights the fact that some DLB samples have been used in multiple genetic studies, an event that should be made clear and that can severely bias results, certainly for a disease where sample collections are small.
Genetic Study Of Lewy Body Dementia Supports Ties To Alzheimers And Parkinsons Diseases
NIH-led study locates five genes that may play a critical role in Lewy body dementia.
In a study led by National Institutes of Health researchers, scientists found that five genes may play a critical role in determining whether a person will suffer from Lewy body dementia, a devastating disorder that riddles the brain with clumps of abnormal protein deposits called Lewy bodies. Lewy bodies are also a hallmark of Parkinsons disease. The results, published in Nature Genetics, not only supported the diseases ties to Parkinsons disease but also suggested that people who have Lewy body dementia may share similar genetic profiles to those who have Alzheimers disease.
Lewy body dementia is a devastating brain disorder for which we have no effective treatments. Patients often appear to suffer the worst of both Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases. Our results support the idea that this may be because Lewy body dementia is caused by a spectrum of problems that can be seen in both disorders, said Sonja Scholz, M.D., Ph.D., investigator at the NIHs National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the senior author of the study. We hope that these results will act as a blueprint for understanding the disease and developing new treatments.
The study was led by Dr. Scholzs team and researchers in the lab of Bryan J. Traynor, M.D., Ph.D., senior investigator at the NIHs National Institute on Aging .
NIHTurning Discovery Into Health®
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Looked At Genetic Profiles
Finally, to examine the apparent links between Lewy body dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases, the researchers further analyzed data from previous studies on Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease. They found that the genetic profiles of the patients in this study had higher chances of suffering from either Alzheimers or Parkinsons disease than the age-matched control subjects. These predictions held even after they lowered the potential impact of known Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease-causing genes, like APOE and SNCA. Interestingly, the patients genetic risk profiles for Alzheimers disease, on the one hand, or Parkinsons disease, on the other, did not overlap.
Although Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease are molecularly and clinically very different disorders, our results support the idea that the problems that cause those diseases may also happen in Lewy body dementia. The challenge we face in treating these patients is determining which specific problems are causing the dementia. We hope studies like this one will help doctors find precise treatments for each patients condition.
Sonja Scholz, MD, PhD
To help with this effort, the team published the genome sequence data from the study on the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes , a National Library of Medicine website that researchers can freely search for new insights into the causes of Lewy body dementia and other disorders.
Symptoms Of Dementia With Lewy Bodies
People with dementia with Lewy bodies may have:
- hallucinations seeing, hearing or smelling things that are not there
- problems with understanding, thinking, memory and judgement this is similar to Alzheimer’s disease, although memory may be less affected in people with dementia with Lewy bodies
- confusion or sleepiness this can change over minutes or hours
- slow movement, stiff limbs and tremors
- disturbed sleep, often with violent movements and shouting out
- fainting spells, unsteadiness and falls
These problems can make daily activities increasingly difficult and someone with the condition may eventually be unable to look after themselves.
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Is Lewy Body Dementia Hereditary & What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Person With Lewy Body Dementia
Most patients suffering from Lewy Body Dementia prefer visiting a primary care physician at the initial stage. Diagnosing the disorder can be a real problem if the symptoms grow severe.
There are many families that have been affected by Lewy Body Dementia . However, it has been seen that very few individuals and even medical professionals are aware of the diagnostic criteria and symptoms. Some even dont have the idea whether or not the disease exists. Therefore, you should know about Lewy Body Dementia not only to save yourself but also your loved ones, families and friends. Lewy body dementia is a type of progressive dementia that comes only after Alzheimers disease dementia.
Study Highlights Complex Genetic Architecture Of Lewy Body Dementia
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A genome-wide analysis of patients with Lewy body dementia and healthy controls identified five independent risk loci associated with Lewy body dementia, according to findings published in Nature Genetics.
Genetic risk scores also demonstrated that Lewy body dementia shared risk profiles and pathways with Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease, a finding that provides a deeper molecular understanding of the complex genetic architecture of this age-related neurodegenerative condition, the researchers wrote.
Lewy body dementia is a poorly understood form of dementia. Recent evidence has shown us that genetic factors play a role in the pathogenesis of LBD,Sonja W. Scholz, MD, PhD, investigator and chief in the neurodegenerative diseases research unit, neurogenetics branch, at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, told Healio Neurology. To perform a comprehensive genetic evaluation of LBD and to generate a foundational resource for the dementia research community, we undertook whole-genome sequencing of a large cohort of LBD cases and neurologically healthy controls.
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Common Lewy Body Dementia Symptoms
Cases of Lewy body dementia can vary considerably for different patients, which is part of why doctors find it so challenging to diagnose effectively. Some of the symptoms you or a loved one may experience if you have LBD are:
- Difficulty with focus and attention
- Visual hallucinations
- REM sleep behavior disorder, which involves acting out your dreams as you sleep
- Sensitivity to anti-hallucination and anti-psychotic drugs
- Frequent falls or fainting
- Autonomic dysfunction, which is when any of those automatic functions our brain handles to ensure we survive stop occurring
People with Parkinsons disease dementia will typically already have a Parkinsons diagnosis and be experiencing many of the;symptoms that come with it; if symptoms of dementia occur on top of the Parkinsons symptoms, its a solid sign that your loved one is dealing with Parkinsons disease dementia.
How Is Lewy Body Dementia Diagnosed
There are no medical tests that can diagnose Lewy body dementia with 100% accuracy. Specialists, including neurologists, geriatric psychiatrists, neuropsychologists and geriatricians, make the diagnosis of probable LBD based on the combined results of tests and patient symptoms.
Your healthcare provider will perform a thorough neurological and physical examination. You or your loved one will also complete mental status and neuropsychological tests. These tests check thinking abilities, including memory, word-finding, attention and visual-spatial skills. Your doctor will ask you and your family about your mental status and the history of your symptoms. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider of any physical, cognitive, memory, emotional, behavioral, movement, sleep or physical changes you or your loved one is having. Also, tell your healthcare provider about any of your current medications, supplements, vitamins, herbal products and frequently used over-the-counter products. These will be reviewed to see if they might be a cause of your or your loved ones symptoms.
Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may also test your blood. If your doctor needs more information, brain imaging studies may be performed.
If you have cognitive deficiency severe enough to impair daily life in the presence of any following clinical features, your doctor may suspect diagnosis of LBD:
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Is Frontotemporal Dementia Hereditary
Researchers say heredity and family history play a role in up to half of cases of;frontotemporal dementia;,;which affects speech, social behavior, and executive functioning more than memory. Scientists have identified five gene mutations that contribute to these types of dementia. Due to the genes involved and half of people whose parents have FTD will develop it as well. The Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco says that people with a family history of FTD may consider talking with a genetic counselor about genetic testing options, benefits, and potential downsides.
Although FTD isnt as widely known as Alzheimers, it actually affects more people than Alzheimers during middle age. Among the symptoms of FTD are behavior and personality changes like a sudden onset of apathy, new impulsive behavior including potentially inappropriate behavior, and compulsive behaviors such as hoarding. Another type of FTD has symptoms that include trouble finding words, speaking in a normal cadence, or new pronunciation difficulties. Muscle spasms and poor motor coordination can also be signs of FTD.
FTD is a gradual disease that worsens over the course of about 8 years, depending on the exact type. FTD isnt curable, but exercise, proper sleep habits, speech therapy, and psychiatric medications may help patients function better for a longer period of time.
My Introduction To Lewy Body Dementia
My father began to exhibit the first signs of what everyone thought was Parkinsons disease about 20 years ago. The problem was that while the slow and limited movements of Parkinsons can be easily treated with medications, my dad wasnt responding in the same way. His local physicians didnt know why, so I had a local expert neuropsychologist see him, and to her it was clearhe had Lewy body dementia.
Like to many people, this diagnosis didnt resonate. While I had learned a little about this issue in medical school, the more I researched the disease the more questions I unearthed. Turned out nobody really knew much about it, why it happened, or how to treat it. All they knew was that these patients had the worst parts of Parkinsons disease and Alzheimers disease with some hallucinations thrown in for good measure. They also knew that on postmortem exams they had these small inclusions in the brain that are called Lewy bodies.
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Can You Prevent Lewy Body Dementia
If you have a family history of Lewy body dementia or Parkinson’s disease, it’s understandable to be concerned about developing Lewy body dementia. Like other types of dementia, there’s not a guaranteed way to completely prevent Lewy body dementia. However, understanding the factors that increase the risk helps us identify opposing strategies that can decrease this likelihood, and these strategies are generally connected with better physical health, as well.
Is Dementia Passed On Through Our Dna
Medical research seems to suggest that it is very unlikely that dementia can be passed on through our DNA. But in rare cases, some diseases that lead to dementia can be passed on through our DNA. But it is still extremly rare that;if a family member such as a parent or grandparent has developed one of the many different kinds of dementia, that their children will inherit the disease at some stage in their life.
This is not to say that somebody with Alzheimers cannot have not passed on the disease from parent to child. It is possible they could have. In some rare cases of Alzheimers, the disease can be inherited from a parent. But this is very rare.There is a group of four;genes a person can carry that can;lead to a greater risk of Alzheimers. With 3 of the four genes being responsible for;early onset dementia in people in their 30s, 40s and 50s with the other gene being responsible for Alzheimers in older people, usually over 65 years of age.
In the majority of cases of Alzheimers ;the disease is mostly associated with old age. Most cases are diagnosed with people in their 70s and 80s which is often referred to as Senile dementia.
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