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What Are The 7 Stages Of Lewy Body Dementia

What Affects The Speed Of Progression

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The speed at which dementia progresses varies a lot from person to person because of factors such as:

  • the type of dementia for example, Alzheimers disease tends to progress more slowly than the other types
  • a persons age for example, Alzheimers disease generally progresses more slowly in older people than in younger people
  • other long-term health problems dementia tends to progress more quickly if the person is living with other conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, particularly if these are not well managed
  • delirium a medical condition that starts suddenly .

There is no way to be sure how quickly a persons dementia will progress. Some people with dementia will need support very soon after their diagnosis. In contrast, others will stay independent for several years.

What Are The 7 Stages Of Lewy Body Dementia


  • Stage One: No Cognitive Decline.
  • Stage Two: Very Mild Cognitive Decline.
  • Stage Three: Mild Cognitive Decline.
  • Stage Four: Moderate Cognitive Decline.
  • Stage Five: Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline.
  • Stage Six: Severe Cognitive Decline.
  • Stage Seven: Very Severe Cognitive Decline.

What Are Lewy Bodies

Lewy Bodies are composed of protein particles that aggregate in different parts of the brain. This is linked to how the brain processes the protein alpha-synuclein. The brain of a person affected with Lewy Body Disease may have hallmark changes such as plaques and tangles of abnormal protein deposits.

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Approximate Lewy Body Dementia Phases Symptoms And Considerations

Lewy Body Dementia Stage 1 Possibilities

Most caregivers are concerned/worried that something is not right. Symptoms from later stages can also appear this early on the continuum. At the end of this phase, cognitive impairment is difficult to deny.

Symptoms and subtle changes may include:

  • Increased daytime sleep: two-plus hours
  • Hallucinations
  • Vision affected
  • Hearing affected
  • Speech difficulty
  • Physical coordination diminished
  • Cog-wheeling
  • Posture altered
  • Chronic runny nose
  • Ability to learn new tasks affected
  • Short term memory impacted
  • Thinking/learning/ problem solving difficulties suggest dementia
  • Mood: Depressed/Anxiety
  • Able to engage independently in leisure activities
  • Handwriting is affected
  • Impairments with financial responsibilities
  • May still be able to maintain employment
  • May be able to hide symptoms
  • Socialization still possible
  • May accuse spouse of infidelity
Lewy Body Dementia Stage 2 Possibilities

Caregivers consult with an elder law attorney by this point: at very least have a Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney document on the patient. Protect assets: family, friends, caregivers may be able to take financial advantage of LO. Caregivers need to familiarize themselves with all finances and assets to possibly consult with a financial advisor.

Symptoms are usually clearer by this point:

Increased difficulty with:

Lewy Body Dementia Stage 3 Possibilities
Lewy Body Dementia Stage 4 Possibilities
Lewy Body Dementia Stage 5 Possibilities

Strength to all!

Stage : Moderately Severe Dementia

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When the patient begins to forget the names of their children, spouse, or primary caregivers, they are most likely entering stage 6 of dementia and will need full time care. In the sixth stage, patients are generally unaware of their surroundings, cannot recall recent events, and have skewed memories of their personal past. Caregivers and loved ones should watch for:

  • Delusional behavior

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Stage : Very Mild Changes

You still might not notice anything amiss in your loved one’s behavior, but they may be picking up on small differences, things that even a doctor doesn’t catch. This could include forgetting words or misplacing objects.

At this stage, subtle symptoms of Alzheimer’s don’t interfere with their ability to work or live independently.

Keep in mind that these symptoms might not be Alzheimer’s at all, but simply normal changes from aging.

Stage : Very Mild Changes No Dementiaquality Of Life: Little To No Impact

You still might not notice any changes in your loved one. Youll see daily memory problems that look like a normal part of aging. You may see:

  • Some difficulty finding the right words.
  • The ability to make up for memory problems, such as substituting one word for another.
  • Normal functioning in the home, community, and workplace.

How You Can Help:

As with Stage 1, start to plan now. Use our tools to help your loved one document his or her values and priorities about the type of care wanted during the various stages of dementia.

You can also watch for new signs that you may not have seen before.

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Treatment And Care For Lewy Body Dementia

While LBD currently cannot be prevented or cured, some symptoms may respond to treatment for a period of time. An LBD treatment plan may involve medications, physical and other types of therapy, and counseling. A plan to make any home safety updates and identify any equipment can make everyday tasks easier.

A skilled care team often can suggest ways to improve quality of life for both people with LBD and their caregivers.

What Is Lewy Body Dementia

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Lewy body dementia is a type of brain disorder where Lewy bodies start to build up in areas of the brain.

These are microscopic deposits that damage the brain and may eventually lead to the death of the brains nerve cells.

Lewy bodies are abnormal protein deposits known as alpha-synuclein.

The build-up of these proteins can affect a persons thinking capacity, movement, bladder and bowel movements, autonomic body functions, and behavior, etc.

People with Alzheimers disease also have Lewy bodies.

The condition is diagnosed through a sequence of tests that include both neurological and physical tests. During these tests, a persons memory, visuospatial skills, and attention span undergo assessment.

At times, the doctors may also recommend MRI and CT brain scans to confirm the diagnosis along with blood tests.

The disease mostly affects individuals who are above the age of sixty though there are a few cases where a person may get it when they are younger.

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What Are The Lewy Body Dementia Stages

Lewy body dementia stages generally begin with motor impairment before progressing to more obvious signs of dementia, including forgetfulness, confusion, a loss of speech and a blank facial expression. Some who are stricken with this brain disorder may also experience hallucinations, sleep disorders and body tremors in the beginning stages. Symptoms vary among individuals with this progressive condition, with some who are in the early stages showing either no signs of dementia or exhibiting very fleeting symptoms. Individuals in the early stages also may experience symptoms similar to someone in the latter stages, such as incontinence and difficulty swallowing. Not every person with Lewy body dementia experiences the same symptoms the stages of this condition, therefore, tend to vary from person to person and are not always predictable.

As a progressive brain disorder, the Lewy body dementia stages can occur quite rapidly. In its earliest stages, symptoms may fluctuate from day to day or even from moment to moment. A person may appear fine one moment, but suddenly experience an onset of extreme confusion the next.

Stage : Age Associated Memory Impairment

This stage features occasional lapses of memory most frequently seen in:

  • Forgetting where one has placed an object
  • Forgetting names that were once very familiar

Oftentimes, this mild decline in memory is merely normal age-related cognitive decline, but it can also be one of the earliest signs of degenerative dementia. At this stage, signs are still virtually undetectable through clinical testing. Concern for early onset of dementia should arise with respect to other symptoms.

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Stage : Mild Dementia

At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:

  • Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty recognizing faces and people

In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.

Understanding Lewy Body Dementia

Seven Stages of Dementia

Lewy body dementia consists of two different conditions: dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia. The two share many of the same symptoms and may often be considered to be the same.

However, one significant factor in how Lewy body dementia progresses is related to which disease is actually present. In Parkinson’s disease dementia, the physical challenges are usually evident first, while in dementia with Lewy bodies, cognitive changes may appear earlier than, about the same time, or shortly after, the physical changes develop.

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Treatments For Dementia With Lewy Bodies

There’s currently no cure for dementia with Lewy bodies or any treatment that will slow it down.

But there are treatments that can help control some of the symptoms, possibly for several years.

Treatments include:

Prognosis For Lewy Body Dementia

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for Lewy Body Dementia. The average life expectancy for people with LBD after the onset of symptoms is 5 to 8 years. However, individuals with Lewy Body Dementia have lived anywhere between 2 and 20 years depending on their age, the severity of their symptoms, and their other medical conditions.

The course of Lewy Body Dementia can vary across people, but is usually progressive but vacillating. In other words, across time, people decline, but there may be periods of return to a higher functioning level. This decline may be exacerbated by medications and/or infections/diseases.

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Cognition And Memory Failure

As Lewy Body Dementia progresses, people will begin to show decreased cognition that will interfere with daily activities. They will need assistance with most activities for daily living.

Many people will be unreasonable and may demonstrate severe mood fluctuations. This can manifest as severe anxiety or even anger.

At this stage, it may be necessary to consider a long-term care home that specializes in dementia. You can no longer leave your loved one unsupervised due to their inability to take medication unsupervised and their progressive confusion. They may no longer be able to tell time or recognize familiar people and places.

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After receiving a diagnosis, a person with LBD may benefit from seeing a neurologist who specializes in dementia and/or movement disorders. Your primary doctor can work with other professionals to follow your treatment plan. Depending on an individual’s particular symptoms, physical, speech, and occupational therapists, as well as mental health and palliative care specialists, can be helpful.

Support groups are another valuable resource for people with LBD and their caregivers. Sharing experiences and tips with others in the same situation can help people find practical solutions to day-to-day challenges and get emotional and social support.

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What Are The 7 Stages Of Dementia

Dementia is a disease that affects millions of Americans. There are several types of dementia that we know of, including Alzheimers Disease and Lewy Body Dementia.

While forms of dementia vary in symptoms and severity, the Global Deterioration Scale aids in identifying the typical progression.

If you or someone you know may be in the early stages of dementia, heres what you need to know about its seven stages:

The Progression And Stages Of Dementia

Dementia is progressive. This means symptoms may be relatively mild at first but they get worse with time. Dementia affects everyone differently, however it can be helpful to think of dementia progressing in ‘three stages’.

  • You are here: The progression and stages of dementia
  • The progression and stages of dementia

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    How Is Parkinsons Disease Dementia Diagnosed

    No single test can diagnose Parkinsons disease dementia. Instead, doctors rely on a series or combination of tests and indicators.

    Your neurologist will likely diagnose you with Parkinsons and then track your progression. They may monitor you for signs of dementia. As you get older, your risk for Parkinsons dementia increases.

    Your doctor is more likely to conduct regular testing to monitor your cognitive functions, memory recall, and mental health.

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    Stage : Very Severe Mental Decline/severe Dementia Quality Of Life: Very Severe Impact

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    Your loved one will not remember any of the past or recognize loved ones. He or she will have likely lost the ability to make healthcare decisions. You will need 24-hour care in the home for day-to-day activities. You may see your loved one:

    • Lose the ability to speak, eat or swallow.
    • Not be able to use the toilet or get dressed without help.
    • Not be able to walk or sit without help.
    • Loss of language skills throughout this stage
    • Lose all bladder and bowel control.
    • Loss of muscle control

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    Problems With Mood And Motivation

    Mood disturbances is one of the prominent features of lewy body dementia Many people with LBD struggle with concentration, they may feel apathetic and spend a lot of time staring into space. These symptoms can come and go, so that there may be some periods where the individual is bright and alert, followed by spells of confusion and drowsiness. Depression is also common during the course of the illness.

    Reading about some of the symptoms of the disease can be frightening, however the progression of dementia with Lewy bodies varies between people. Getting early support can help make life a little easier. Home-care can adapt to your evolving needs, so that you can continue to live safely in your own home. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medication to reduce hallucinations, help with sleep and ease movement and tremor. You may also find that physiotherapy and occupational therapy can support your function, so that you can get on with everyday tasks and maintain your wellbeing and independence for as long as possible.

    Why Is Lewy Body Dementia So Bad

    Lewy bodies are clumps of protein that can form in the brain. When they build up, they can cause problems with the way your brain works, including your memory, movement, thinking skills, mood, and behavior. These problems can keep you from doing everyday tasks or taking care of yourself, a condition called dementia.

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    Two Of The Following Are Present :

    • Fluctuating cognition: Mental problems varying during the day, especially attention and alertness.
    • Visual hallucinations: Detailed and well-formed visions, which occur and recur.
    • RBD: Physically acting out dreams while asleep.

    A DLB diagnosis is even more likely if the individual also experiences any of the following: repeated falls, fainting, brief loss of consciousness, delusions, apathy, anxiety, problems with temperature and blood pressure regulation, urinary incontinence, and chronic constipation, loss of smell, or sensitivity to neuroleptic medications that are given to control hallucinations and other psychiatric symptoms.

    Finally, the timing of symptoms is a reliable clue: if cognitive symptoms appear before or within a year of motor symptoms, DLB is more likely the cause than Parkinsonâs disease. Signs of stroke or vascular dementia usually negate the likelihood of DLB.

    Testing is usually done to rule out other possible causes of dementia, motor, or behavioral symptoms. Brain imaging can detect brain shrinkage and help rule out stroke, fluid on the brain , or subdural hematoma. Blood and other tests might show vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid problems, syphilis, HIV, or vascular disease. Depression is also a common cause of dementia-like symptoms. Additional tests can include an electroencephalogram or spinal tap .

    What Causes Parkinsons Disease Dementia

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    A chemical messenger in the brain called dopamine helps control and coordinate muscle movement. Over time, Parkinsons disease destroys the nerve cells that make dopamine.

    Without this chemical messenger, the nerve cells cant properly relay instructions to the body. This causes a loss of muscle function and coordination. Researchers dont know why these brain cells disappear.

    Parkinsons disease also causes dramatic changes in a part of your brain that controls movement.

    Those with Parkinsons disease often experience motor symptoms as a preliminary sign of the condition. Tremors are one of the most common first symptoms of Parkinsons disease.

    As the disease progresses and spreads in your brain, it can affect the parts of your brain responsible for mental functions, memory, and judgment.

    Over time, your brain may not be able to use these areas as efficiently as it once did. As a result, you may begin experiencing symptoms of Parkinsons disease dementia.

    You have an increased risk of developing Parkinsons disease dementia if:

    • youre a person with a penis
    • youre older

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    Coping With Cognitive Changes

    Some medications used to treat Alzheimer’s disease also may be used to treat the cognitive symptoms of LBD. These drugs, called cholinesterase inhibitors, act on a chemical in the brain that is important for memory and thinking. They may also improve hallucinations, apathy, and delusions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved one Alzheimer’s drug, rivastigmine, to treat cognitive symptoms in Parkinson’s disease dementia. Several other drugs are being tested as possible treatments for LBD symptoms or to disrupt the underlying disease process.


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