ATLANTA (April 14, 2014)—Today, if you hear, “Knock, knock,” on your cyber door, be sure to answer, “Who’s there?” You’ll hear Whoopi Goldberg say, “Lewy.“ To which you respond, of course, “Lewy who?” Glad you asked. The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) launched this month an awareness campaign – “Lewy Who?” – to educate the public about Lewy body dementia (LBD), the most misdiagnosed form of dementia and, following Alzheimer’s disease, the second most common cause of progressive dementia.
“Now, first, you kind of think, well, I’m a little bit confused, maybe I’m just getting old or I’m getting forgetful. No, it’s a little bit more than that,” says Whoopi Goldberg, Oscar-winning actress and comedian. “LBD can also affect movement, behavior or sleep. So, right now, there’s no cure for LBD. But it is treatable.” She adds, “The key is recognition and early diagnosis because people with LBD can have severe reactions to certain medications. Fortunately, information and support are available, thanks to the Lewy Body Dementia Association.”
Underrecognized at the primary care level, Lewy body dementia (LBD) presents with symptoms that may be similar to its “cousins,” Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, but the treatment strategy is more challenging because fewer medications can be used safely. Lewy body dementia is a brain disorder that affects 1.3 million Americans, impairs thinking, movement, sleep and behavior (causing people to see hallucinations or act out dreams, sometimes violently). Also, it affects autonomic body functions, such as blood pressure control, temperature regulation, and digestion. Recognizing symptoms early can help a person with LBD get comprehensive and appropriate treatment and the caregiver get much needed support.
Support for Healtcare Providers and Families
Education about LBD is urgently needed. The Lewy Body Dementia Association offers physicians, individuals with LBD and caregivers a range of information, resources and support. Both physicians and concerned families can receive a Checklist of Lewy Body Dementia Diagnostic Symptoms to facilitate their discussion. Also, LBDA collaborated with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on a brand new, comprehensive downloadable brochure, which includes a series of ‘Caregiver Sketches’ that highlight the experiences of others to unveil the shroud around LBD. It helps people to compare notes, and it encourages them to seek help. To receive a packet that includes this brochure and to access other resources about LBD, visit http://www.lbda.org/lewywho/.
Whoopi asks, “Knock on Cyber Doors With One Click”
Help LBDA and Whoopi knock on cyber doors across the country. Take LBDA and Whoopi’s message to friends, family, coworkers and people everywhere—it only takes about one minute! Bloggers, reporters, writers, groups and individuals, share Whoopi’s message. It’s quick and easy. First, take 1 minute and 10 seconds to listen to Whoopi—link to http://www.lbda.org/lewywho/ and click on the YouTube social media icon at the top right-hand corner of the page. Then, simply post, pin or tweet the video clip on your site, page, wall or feed. This just might be the one “share” that makes a lifesaving difference in someone’s family or the one “share” that offers someone and his or her caregiver greater quality of life.
About Lewy Body Dementia Association
The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of Lewy body dementias (LBD), supporting people with LBD, their families and caregivers, and promoting scientific advances. LBD, a complex disease that can present with a range of physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms, is a “family disease.” It dramatically affects not only the person diagnosed but also the primary caregiver. Through outreach, education and research, LBDA supports all those affected by Lewy body dementias. To learn more about LBD and LBDA, please visit lbda.org.
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