“My mother, Mille, was a character. When she walked into the room you knew she was there. She just lit it up, her personality was bigger than life. Anybody that knew her knows what I’m talking about. But she was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, and over the next five years I watched this disease suck the personality right out of her. It was so sad. I promised her I would do everything I could to just promote the cause of looking for a cure.”
Kevin is using his stardom to bring awareness to Lewy body dementia. View his message and hear his mother’s favorite REO Speedwagon song in this clip below:
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the 2nd most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. LBD is not a rare disease. It affects more than a million people and their families in the United States alone. Because LBD symptoms may closely resemble other more commonly known disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, it is currently widely under-diagnosed.
LBD is an umbrella term for two related diagnoses:
· A person with “dementia with Lewy bodies” will develop dementia and other LBD symptoms, one of which may be changes in movement like a tremor (parkinsonism).
· In the other form of LBD, people will present first with changes in movement leading to a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis; over time many will develop dementia years later. This is diagnosed as “Parkinson’s disease dementia”.
Over time, people with both diagnoses will develop very similar cognitive, physical, sleep, and behavioral symptoms. The earliest symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia are different, but both are due to the same underlying biological changes in the brain.