Health & Care Professionals

Working with people who have Lewy body dementia

Lewy body dementia is a complex condition to diagnose and treat.

Lewy body dementia (LBD): estimated 10-15% of all dementias
(second most common neurodegenerative dementia)

  • Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) – 4-7.5%
  • Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) – 3.6-9.7%  

BUT diagnosis & recognition is poor:

  • DLB often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease 
  • People may have multiple visits before correct diagnosis is given and approx. 46% of people may be given another diagnosis first
  • In DLB – lack of assessment of key features i.e. hallucinations, sleep disorder, movement disorder
  • In PDD symptoms attributed to medication, cognition not assessed or value of diagnosis not recognised

As a health or social care professional you may be involved in supporting people with a wide range symptoms, at different points in their condition and within different settings.

Despite accounting for approximately 15% of all dementias , Lewy body dementia is commonly misdiagnosed. Families consistently report multiple visits before receiving an accurate diagnosis, inadequate support and a lack of appropriate information about symptoms and management.

Symptoms such as sleep disturbance, hallucinations, delusions, fluctuations in attention, apathy, constipation, urinary problems and decreased mobility amongst others, negatively impact on the person’s quality of life.

The impact on family caregivers is also significant and people can experience higher stress levels and rates of depression or anxiety, as compared with other dementias.

Ensuring people are recognised, assessed, given an accurate diagnosis and offered appropriate treatment and support is crucial.

By raising awareness of the disease among health and care professionals, we hope to increase diagnosis rates and ensure people receive the best possible care and treatment.

Do you know enough about Lewy body dementia?

Download our presentation for the most up-to-date information on diagnosing, treating and caring for people with Lewy body dementia

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