Newswise — ATLANTA (APRIL 7, 2014)—“Hey, it’s Whoopi!” Whoopi Goldberg, you ask? The Oscar-winning actress who starred in The Color Purple with Oprah Winfrey and in Ghost with Patrick Swayze and who stole our hearts in the Sister Act? Yes, that Whoopi Goldberg! With the same Whoopi passion she brings to the big screen, today, Whoopi delivers a serious new message on video for families concerned about loved ones with memory loss or confusion and movement, behavior and sleep problems. Together with the Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA), Whoopi “calls for clicks”— with one click of the mouse, in just one or two minutes, right now, you may help someone for a lifetime.
“I want to tell you about Lewy Body Dementia or LBD,” says Whoopi. “Now, you might not have heard of LBD, but more than 1.3 million Americans are struggling with LBD, today.” Whoopi has joined with LBDA to raise awareness and support for LBD families, as part of its “Lewy Who?” awareness campaign launched this month. 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. While the symptoms of LBD may be similar to its “cousins,” Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, the treatment strategy is more challenging because fewer medications can be used safely. People with LBD have medication sensitivities, and an early and accurate diagnosis can help protect them from treatments that can worsen their symptoms, cause severe side effects or trigger a potentially deadly reaction.
Spread the Word
With one click of the mouse, you can help us deliver potentially lifesaving information so families can recognize that certain symptoms may signal something more serious than forgetfulness or confusion. We invite bloggers, reporters, writers and groups and individuals at home and at work to spread the word on the Web and through social media by sharing Whoopi’s message. It’s quick and easy. First, take 1 minute and 10 seconds to listen to Whoopi—link to http://www.lbda.org/lewywho/ and click on the YouTube social media icon at the top right-hand corner of the page. Then, simply post, pin or tweet it on your site, page, wall or feed.
Why? Because recognizing symptoms early can help a person with LBD get comprehensive and appropriate treatment and their caregiver get much needed support. Experts recommend a very cautious approach to therapy in LBD. People with LBD, who may have been misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, risk exposure to therapy used in these diseases that may result in severe side effects. Because people with LBD respond differently to certain treatments used in Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, early and accurate diagnosis is critical. In particular, with regard to behavioral therapy, up to 50 percent of people with LBD treated with any antipsychotic medication may experience severe neuroleptic sensitivity. This includes worsening cognition, sedation, increased or possibly irreversible parkinsonism, or symptoms resembling neuroleptic malignant syndrome, which can be fatal if left untreated.
Support for Healthcare Providers and Families
Education about LBD is urgently needed. The Lewy Body Dementia Association offers physicians, individuals with LBD and caregivers a range of information, resources and support. Both physicians and concerned families can download a Checklist of Lewy Body Dementia Diagnostic Symptoms to facilitate their discussion. To receive a packet of information or to access other resources about LBD, visit http://www.lbda.org/lewywho/.
About Lewy Body Dementia Association
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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