Oklahoma residents should know that Lewy body dementia, or LBD, is a progressive brain disorder that affects 1.4 million people in the United States. It is a condition in which alpha-synuclein protein deposits accumulate in the parts of the brain that control movement, behavior and cognition. LBD is very underdiagnosed because its symptoms are very similar to well-known medical conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In fact, many medical professionals, including physicians, have no familiarity with LBD.
The causes of LBD have not been confirmed, but research is being conducted to verify what causes the condition. It is believed that multiple factors are responsible for the development of LBD. Environmental and genetic factors, combined with the processes that are the result of natural aging, are believed to make people susceptible to developing the condition.
One symptom of LBD is impaired thinking; it diminishes sufferers’ ability for executive functions, such as processing information and planning, and reduces memorization and the ability to comprehend visual information. People who have LBD are likely to have difficulty with remaining alert or attentive. They may also suffer from tremors, slowness, difficulty with walking, stiffness, hallucinations and changes in their behavior and sleep patterns.
LBD is named for the scientist who discovered that abnormal protein deposits impaired the function of the brain. The Lewy body proteins build up in a section of the brain stem and deplete the stores of the neurotransmitter dopamine. This causes the individuals suffering from the condition to exhibit Parkinsonian symptoms.
An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may consider the factors of a client’s medical case and may suggest which legal options should be pursued. Financial compensation may be pursued on behalf of clients whose medical condition was misdiagnosed. Physicians may be sued for a worsened medical condition caused by the failure to correctly diagnose.