How is Lewy Body Dementia Treated?
August 2, 2017Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a disease that affects more than one system of the body. People with LBD have movement, cognitive, sleep, and mood symptoms. Multi-system diseases like this often require a team approach to treatment, involving doctors who specialize in different areas as well as other medical professionals. The team also includes non-medical members, such as family caregivers and home care providers who play an important role in the treatment of LBD. Just as the team requires multiple people, the treatment itself has multiple facets as well.Medical Treatments for LBD.There is no cure for LBD at present. Treatment of the disease involves managing symptoms through medications—many of which are used for treating other diseases with similar symptoms. Some of the types of medications used for LBD include:
- Parkinson’s Disease Medications. These kinds of medications are used to treat symptoms that also occur with Parkinson’s disease, such as slow movements and rigid muscles.
- Alzheimer’s Disease Medications. These medications treat the cognitive symptoms of LBD. They increase some of the chemicals that are important to cognitive skills, like memory and judgement.
- Other Medications. Doctors also prescribe a variety of other medications to treat other symptoms that may occur with LBD, such as sleep disorders.
- Occupational Therapy. Occupational therapists can help teach a person with LBD new ways to do tasks that have become difficult due to LBD.
- Physical Therapy. Physical therapists use exercises to improve balance and movement.
- Psychotherapy. Because LBD can affect mood, seeing a psychotherapist or counselor may be beneficial.
- Providing Mental Activities. Activities that engage the mind may help slow cognitive decline. Home care providers can help the patient to do crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, play games, and participate in other activities that involve using the mind.
- Assisting with Exercise. Exercise may also help slow the mental decline of LBD. Home care providers can encourage an LBD patient to exercise, go for walks with them, and supervise exercise to ensure the senior stays safe.
- Sticking to a Nightly Routine. The symptoms of LBD can be worse at night, so creating and sticking to a calming nightly routine is helpful. A nightly routine might involve turning off the television, keeping the house quiet, and getting ready for bed in the same order and at the same time each night.