Newswise — Atlanta, GA, April 1, 2014 — The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) has announced the launch of a major national advertising, public relations, and social media campaign entitled, “Lewy Who?” The purpose of this initiative is to raise awareness of Lewy body dementia (LBD)in the general public and healthcare domains. Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the most misdiagnosed form of dementia and, following Alzheimer’s disease, is the second most common cause of progressive dementia. It is a brain disorder that affects 1.3 million Americans, impairs thinking, movement, sleep and behavior (causing people to hallucinate or act out dreams, sometimes violently). Also, it affects autonomic body functions, such as blood pressure control, temperature regulation, and digestion.
Key information about this disease will be shared in the press each month for the remainder of this year, as well as through the AARP Website, www.aarp.org. Extensive educational resources, ways to become active in LBDA, and how to provide financial support, can be found on the Lewy Who? campaign Webpage, www.lbda.org/lewywho. “Through this awareness raising campaign, we hope to impress on everyone the need for early diagnosis to help improve the quality of life for those suffering from LBD and those who provide for their care,” said Michael Koehler, Board President at LBDA.
Lewy body dementia, a complex, challenging, and surprisingly common brain disease, refers to two related diagnoses: Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). The difference is in the presentation of two specific symptoms based on the “one-year rule.” With DLB, cognitive symptoms that interfere with daily living appear before or within a year of movement problems resembling Parkinson’s disease. With PDD, disabling cognitive symptoms do not develop until more than a year after movement problems begin.
Lewy body dementia is characterized by an abnormal buildup of Lewy bodies (alpha-synuclein protein deposits) in the areas of the brain that regulate behavior, memory, movement and personality. The most prominent symptoms of Parkinson’s disease affect motor abilities. Alzheimer’s disease primarily affects learning and memory. What complicates diagnosis is that some people may have changes in the brain from more than one memory disorder.
The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of Lewy body dementias (LBD), supporting people with LBD, their families and caregivers, and promoting scientific advances. LBD, a complex disease that can present with a range of physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms, is a “family disease.” It dramatically affects not only the person diagnosed but also the primary caregiver. Through outreach, education and research, LBDA supports all those affected by Lewy body dementias. To learn more about LBD and LBDA, please visit lbda.org.
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