Fans and followers of veteran Nollywood actor, Olu Jacobs were heartbroken after an update on his health was given by his wife, Joke Silva.
Speaking in an interview with Chude Jideonwo, Aunty Joke, as she’s fondly called, revealed that her husband is battling Lewy body dementia.
In this work, we will bring to light some of the causes, and symptoms of the disease.
What is Lewy body dementia?
The Lewy body dementia is often misunderstood with other types of dementia and stigmatized. This hinders diagnosis and cares for victims.
In contrast to the common misconception, dementia is not a disease in and of itself, but a set of symptoms that affect one’s ability to think clearly, severe enough to affect the daily functioning of an individual.
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Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, followed by vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, mixed dementia, and frontotemporal dementia.
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the result of abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These deposits alter chemicals in the brain and thus result in cognitive, behavioral, and mood problems.
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VICTIMS OF THE DISEASE
LBD typically affects individuals older than 50, though sometimes younger individuals can suffer from it. Men seem more susceptible to LBD than women.
LBD can be difficult to diagnose especially because there is a tendency to confuse early its symptoms with those of other brain disorders.
The disease can occur alone or with any other condition affecting the brain. LBD is progressive in nature and its symptoms begin gradually worsening over time.
On average, people with the disease live five to eight years from diagnosis to death, but some people may live as long as 20 years. A person’s overall health, age, and severity of symptoms determine the rate at which symptoms develop and change.
POSSIBLE CAUSES OF LBD
The precise cause of LBD is unknown, however, some factors that increase the chances of developing the disease include:
- Parkinson’s disease
- High blood pressure
- High Cholestrol
- REM sleep behavior disorder
- Family history of LBD: LBD is not considered a genetic disorder, but having a family member with it is a risk factor.
Some symptoms to watch out for are;
- Muscle rigidity or stiffness
- Inability to think clearly, which interferes with daily activities.
- Shuffling walk, slow movement, or frozen stance
- Tremor or shaking, most commonly at rest
- Balance problems and repeated falls
- Stooped posture
- Variations in concentration, attention, alertness, and wakefulness from day to day and sometimes throughout the day.
- Loss of coordination
- Smaller handwriting than was usual for the person
- Reduced facial expression
- Difficulty swallowing
- A weak voice
- Visual hallucinations, or seeing things that are not present.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness (sleeping two or more hours during the day)
- Depression, Delusions, and irrational distrust of others,
- Changes in body temperature
- Problems with blood pressure
- Dizziness and fainting
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Sexual dysfunction
- Urinary incontinence and Constipation
- A poor sense of smell
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Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease yet.