Dementia affects millions of American lives and millions more all over the world. It disrupts millions of lives, and we still don’t know a lot about it.
There are different types of dementia. Two of the most common are Alzheimer’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia. Lewy Body Dementia has seven stages. In this article, we cover the common question… what are the 7 stages of lewy body dementia?
What Are the 7 Stages of Lewy Body Dementia?
1st Stage: No Cognitive Decline, No symptoms
At the first stage, there are no detectable symptoms. Loved ones, physicians and even the patient her/himself won’t notice any signs and symptoms. However, an MRI test or CT scans of the brain might show some incidental findings. Some patients experience daytime sleeping with hallucinations, but they are very rare.
2nd Stage: Very Mild Cognitive Decline and Symptoms
During stage two, the patient and their loved ones may see some subtle changes. Symptoms can include mild forgetfulness, such as forgetting names or misplacing items. However, it is very mild that it can be difficult to notice these symptoms.
3rd Stage: Mild Cognitive Decline and Symptoms
Once the lewy body dementia reaches stage three, the symptoms start to become noticeable. Symptoms may include mild memory loss, decreased ability to concentrate, mild forgetfulness, difficulty with continuing daily activities. Now is the best time to seek a proper diagnosis for patients who experience these symptoms.
4th Stage: Moderate Cognitive Decline
It is very common for dementia patients to be diagnosed at stage four. This is the point where physicians are able to pinpoint cognitive decline. During stage four, patients may experience symptoms that will disrupt their daily lives.
Symptoms often include difficulty speaking, tremors, difficulty swallowing, excessive drooling, aspiration, difficulty performing daily routine, life-disrupting forgetfulness, increased daytime sleeping, requires continuous supervision.
5th Stage: Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline
During stage five, the patients and their loved ones will see notable memory loss. The patient may begin to struggle with his or her daily activities. They may forget important details such as their phone number, or their address. Patients who are in the fifth stage of lewy body dementia will likely need assistance with daily activities such as bathing, meal preparation, and more.
Symptoms may include significant memory loss, significant confusion, fever, constant supervision required, constant delusions, paranoia, and more.
6th Stage: Severe Cognitive Decline
Those who are in the sixth stage of Lewy body dementia will need 24-hour assistance to live comfortably. The patient will have difficulty remembering recent memories, and may only able to remember memories from their early life.
Symptoms include the inability to speak, a significant change in personality, urine and bowel incontinence, severe memory loss, difficulty remembering family members.
7th Stage: Very Severe Cognitive Decline
The last and final stage of Lewy body dementia usually lasts for 1.5 to 2.5 years. During this stage, the patient may lose their ability to communicate and to walk. They will need extensive assistance with their daily life and will need round-the-clock support.
Lewy Body Dementia is a progressive fatal disease. This is why early diagnosis is important. The earlier the diagnosis, the better care the patient will receive. While there is no known cure yet, medical professionals can slow down or manage the progression of the disease.
More Questions About Lewy Body Dementia?
We hope this answers the question “What are the 7 stages of lewy body dementia” for you. If you still have questions, or something isn’t clear, please let us know in the comment section below. We’ll do our best to respond.
This is part of our series of articles about the 7 stages of dementia. If you’re interested in learning about vascular dementia, please read our article “What are the 7 stages of vascular dementia?”