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Dementia With Lewy Bodies (cont.)

Outlook

Like other types of degenerative dementia such as Alzheimer's disease, DLB is gradually progressive.

  • DLB eventually affects a person's job performance. Many people with DLB take early retirement from their jobs.

  • The person with DLB will eventually lose his or her ability to drive safely. Driving privileges should be addressed by the caregivers and care team.

  • Eventually the person will lose the ability to care for himself or herself.

  • DLB shortens life expectancy.
The rate of progression varies considerably, but most people die within 5-7 years after their disease is diagnosed. The cause of death is usually a complication of the disease.
  • People with the disease develop severe dementia and eventually may have only limited ability to move.

  • They are at risk of falls because of poor balance and walking difficulties.

  • Many have difficulties swallowing, which leads to poor nutrition and sometimes pneumonia (because food goes into the lungs instead of the stomach).

  • They eventually become immobile, which can lead to skin problems, pneumonia, and other complications.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Dementia With Lewy Bodies »

Frederick Lewy first described Lewy bodies (LBs), cytoplasmic inclusions found in cells of the substantia nigra in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease, in 1914.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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