Len Rome’s Local Health: Second most common type of dementia

Daybreak

It's often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's disease, but it is very different

(WYTV) – Many people don’t know the name of the second most common type of dementia, second only to Alzheimer’s.

It goes by the odd name Lewy body dementia, or sometimes dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). It brings on a mental and physical decline. Older people are most affected.

It’s often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease, but it is very different.

“It’s unique in its clinical features. There are some features that are suggestive of Alzheimer’s disease, others suggestive of Parkinson’s disease but DLB really is complex,” Dr. Brad Boeve said.

Doctors say the right diagnosis is key because medications that don’t work well for Alzheimer’s do help some people with DLB.

Just as with Alzheimer’s, researchers are working around the country for a treatment.

This type of dementia is named after Dr. Friederich Lewy, a German neurologist. In 1912, he discovered abnormal protein deposits that disrupt the brain. These deposits are now called “Lewy bodies.”

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