‘Hal­lu­ci­na­tions, tremors and

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Health | Dementia - Pa­trick Kelle­her

“The worst part of de­men­tia with Lewy bod­ies (DLB) is the hal­lu­ci­na­tions and the night­mares,” says 54-year-old Kevin Quaid from Cork.

In the year-and-a-half since he was di­ag­nosed with the con­di­tion, he has writ­ten a book about his ex­pe­ri­ence, called Lewy Body De­men­tia, Sur­vival and Me .He wrote it be­cause not enough peo­ple know what it is, or know that de­men­tia doesn’t al­ways mean mem­ory loss.

Most peo­ple have heard of de­men­tia, but re­search sug­gests many don’t fully un­der­stand what it is. De­men­tia is an um­brella term that de­scribes a set of symp­toms that oc­cur when brain cells stop work­ing prop­erly. De­men­tia is caused by dif­fer­ent dis­eases, the most com­mon of which is Alzheimer’s.

De­men­tia with Lewy bod­ies (DLB) is the third most com­mon form of de­men­tia, but de­spite this, many peo­ple do not know what it is. This is com­pli­cated fur­ther by the fact that mem­ory loss isn’t the main symp­tom of the dis­ease.

Symp­toms of DLB in­clude con­fu­sion, move­ment prob­lems, tremors, stiff­ness in arms and legs, and shak­ing. Peo­ple with

Kevin Quaid: “Peo­ple are very ig­no­rant about de­men­tia. There’s a lack of ed­u­ca­tion and peo­ple just don’t un­der­stand it.”

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