Lewy body dementia or LBD is the second most common progressive cognitive degenerative disorder after Alzheimer's disease. The disorder affects the nerve cells in the brain responsible for motor control, memory, and thinking. Lewy bodies or protein deposits develop within the nerve cells of the brain, the same nerve cells associated with Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. People with Lewy body dementia experience a progressive decline in mental ability and movement. The disorder is most prevalent in males 60 or older and those who have a family history of the disorder or Parkinson's disease. People with a history of depression are also at a greater risk of developing LBD.
As the disease progresses, Lewy body dementia can cause complications that affect many different bodily functions. Those affected may find it difficult to focus, and social behavior may become more aggressive. Many people also experience tremors and find it more difficult to control bodily movement, which leads to more falls and injuries. It is also common to experience depression and apathy. The disorder affects both mental and physical ability, which may foster feelings of helplessness that eventually lead to lack of motivation. People with LBD commonly do not live more than eight years after onset.
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There's currently no cure for Lewy body dementia, though medical care can help people with the degenerative disorder manage their symptoms and live more comfortably. Typically, people with LBD are prescribed medications to treat both the disorder and the developing symptoms.
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