The Mayo Clinic announced a 1 million dollar grant for Lewy Body Dementia research. There are challenges with diagnosing Lewy Body Dementia because it is closely related to both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. To be diagnosed with LBD a patient needs to have alzheimer’s like memory loss symptoms, Parkinson’s like physical movement disorder, as well as neuropsychiatric symptoms. These symptoms may not manifest at the same time, and often times patients are misdiagnosed. For example, a patient with Lewy Body Dementia may be misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease if during the onset of the illness they have a movement disorder.
According to the Lewy Body Dementia foundations website, “In the early 1900s, while researching Parkinson’s disease, the scientist Friederich H. Lewy discovered abnormal protein deposits that disrupt the brain’s normal functioning. These Lewy body proteins are found in an area of the brain stem where they deplete the neurotransmitter dopamine, causing Parkinsonian symptoms. In Lewy body dementia, these abnormal proteins are diffuse throughout other areas of the brain, including the cerebral cortex.”
If you are concerned about developing dementia, growing research is proving exercising daily helps protect your brain from cognitive decline. One study found that older adults who were physically active suffered from less brain degradation.
Additionally, we have a list of brain friendly foods that may help protect against cognitive decline, including beets.