An individual may show a variety of symptoms akin to other types of Dementia (particularly Alzheimer’s) and Parkinson’s disease, and for this reason it can be hard to diagnose.
As is the case with other forms of Dementia the disease is also very subjective in that it can present itself differently from person to person.
As a general rule the following behaviours and indicators could be considered symptomatic of Lewy Body Dementia:
- Lack of alertness and poor attention span
- Problems with visual perception – judging depth and distance in particular
- Problems planning and organising
- Changes in mood, and in some cases depression
- Memory capacity can decrease (though note this is often not as pronounced as it is in Alzheimer’s cases)
- Visual and auditory hallucinations (the latter is less common)
- Problems with mobility – stiffness in the limbs, unsteadiness, trembling
- In rare cases fainting or loss of consciousness may occur
- Disturbed sleep – sufferers can often appear to be acting out their dreams or nightmares.
As the disease progresses the symptoms above will become more noticeable and tend to get worse.
Notably, an individual’s memory can become much worse, akin to mid to later stage Alzheimer’s, as well as their general behaviour (periods of agitation and challenging behaviour will become more common).
One of the areas that a change becomes noticeable is simply forgetting the time or day. This is why a dementia clock is such a wonderful product to have around the home.
In the later stages of the disease an individual will require intensive round-the-clock care.
Please see Diagnosis Prognosis Lewy Body Dementia.