WHAT IS LEWY BODY DEMENTIA?
The National Institute on Aging (NIH) describes LBD as “a disease associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These deposits, called Lewy bodies, affect chemicals in the brain whose changes, in turn, can lead to problems with thinking, movement, behavior, and mood. Lewy bodies affect several different brain regions in LBD:
- The cerebral cortex: controls information processing, perception, thought, and language
- The limbic cortex: plays a major role in emotions and behavior
- The hippocampus: essential to forming new memories
- The midbrain: including the substantia nigra, is involved in movement
- The brain stem: important in regulating sleep and maintaining alertness
- Brain regions: important in recognizing smells (olfactory pathways)”