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 is it possible to diagnosis LBD on 1st visit to the Dr? 
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:30 pm
Posts: 1
Post is it possible to diagnosis LBD on 1st visit to the Dr?
My dad has recently been diagnosed with LBD. Im just wondering if it Is possible for the neurologist to give him a neurological exam (asked him to name as many animals as he could in sixty seconds, he named sixteen in sixty seconds), asked to count backwards from 100 by 7's, he's never been good at doing numbers in his head. An asked him to walk down hall and diagnosed him on the spot). Any advised would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:46 pm

Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: is it possible to diagnosis LBD on 1st visit to the Dr?
Hi Suzanne,
First off let me welcome you to the LBDA forums and I am sorry for your need but glad you found us and in answer to your question I think the answer could be yes, I am sure the Doctor factored in different things beyond just the questions he asked such as facial expression, swing of arms while a person walked, the lack of a a blink to one's eyes, there could be many things he noticed and just for the record each person that is DX'ed with LBD it is only a possible and no one can without a doubt DX LBD until after the person has passed and the brain has been examined to be 100% conclusive. I hope this answewred your question.

Irene Selak

Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:31 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: is it possible to diagnosis LBD on 1st visit to the Dr?
As Irene has pointed out, accurate diagnosis is possibly only on brain autopsy. The neurologist deduced LBD based on observable symptoms. It is a working diagnosis, which is necessary to begin treatment. The earlier, the better, IMHO. If he doesn't respond as expected to treatment, the diagnosis might be changed. [Parkinson's Disease, for instance, is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms as well as response to levodopa]. Your father is certainly in a better position than many LOs here who went for years without a working diagnosis and therefore proper treatment was delayed.

Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.

Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:02 pm

Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:35 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: is it possible to diagnosis LBD on 1st visit to the Dr?
My sister ask the same question when my Father was dx. on the first visit to the Neurologist. The term Lewy Body was one we had not heard of and after observation of his hands first, then had him walk down and back up the hall, along with a couple other physical observations and the series of questions. Our doctor was very, very sensitive to my Father, as I shared with him the fears of Alzheimer because his sister and Mother both had the disease. So, when he told us, me, my Mother and Father that if he took a text book with the definition to the term Lewy Body Dementia, that my Father is a 100% match to the description of Lewy Body. I told him that was greek terminology to me, as I've worked for this medical organization now for 26 yrs in Imaging/Radiology that our doctor is. He described to us the connection with Parkinson and Dementia, and the relationship to Alzheimer as well, but that Lewy Body was more progressive with vivid hallucinations. The hallucinations and paranoid behavior is why, after a couple of years of just seeing his PCP and thinking dementia with white matter disease that was conclusive on a MRI a few years ago. If your Dad hasn't had a MRI and MRA of the Brain, I would highly recommend that to your doctor. My deepest empathy goes out to you, as my family is just getting oriented with this horrible disease. So unbelievable the disease is spoke of more often, especially the environment I work in everyday. I went directly to one of my Radiologist (younger generation with latest knowledge) and when I used the term Lewy Body, he said wow I haven't heard that term since medical school. SO many uneducated medical providers about this disease. The Focus is on Alzheimer and Cancer, not saying that those disease don't need the Focus because they do but Lewy Body awareness and research needs to go viral for family and medical people to learn more how to treat and care for their loved ones. Best of Luck and my advice is do not turn a deaf ear to the diagnosis. Do your homework, and it sounds like you're on the right track for doing so. I ordered books recently that were written by caregivers of Lewy Body Disease. I am hopeful that's really going to broaden my knowledge, which will in return help us better care for my Daddy.

Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:18 am
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