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Lewy Body Dementia

In this form of dementia, protein deposits called Lewy Bodies develop within the brain. Lewy Bodies are also found in Parkinson's disease but appear predominantly in the part of the brain dealing with movement (inner/deeper parts of the brain). In Lewy body Dementia these lesions spread over the outer parts of the brain affecting one's attention, memory and other higher functions of the brain and later can appear in the deeper parts of the brain leading to problems with movement, similar to that seen in Parkinson's disease. Symptoms can be akin to those seen in Alzheimer's disease but due to changes in the deeper 'non-thinking' parts of the brain, problems with movement like slowness, rigidity of the arms and legs and reduced facial expression are more likely to occur as in Parkinson's disease. Visual hallucinations can occur and those affected may see people (for example children) or animals in their homes which can be irritating or distressing. Other symptoms include fluctuations in mental state throughout the day, higher risk of falling, sleep disturbances and paranoid ideations. It is important to be aware that medications used to treat hallucinations or paranoid ideation should only be prescribed by a specialist and reviewed regularly in those with Lewy body Dementia (and Parkinson's disease) as they will be extremely sensitive to those medications.