Dementia symptoms can affect people differently, especially because there are different types of dementia. The four main types are vascular dementia, Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and Lewy body dementia. Lewy bodies or body dementia Lewy is the third most common cause of dementia, affecting around 100,000 people in the UK. This is caused by small round clusters of proteins that accumulate in nerve cells in the brain.
Alzheimers Research UK explains: "One of these proteins is called alpha-synuclein, and the nodules they form are called Lewy bodies.
"Protein clots damage nerve cell function and communication.
"In dementia with Lewy bodies, the nerve cells involved in Lewy bodies are located in areas of the brain that control thought, memory and movement.
"Lewy bodies are also responsible for the damage that causes movement problems in Parkinson's disease."
So what should you look out for for the first signs and symptoms of Lewy dementia?
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is important to pay attention to sleep disorders.
It states, "You may be suffering from rapid sleep disorder (REM) that can make you physically live your dreams while you sleep."
The National Sleep Foundation states that typical signs of REM sleep disorders are physical exercise or even getting up and doing walking activities.
It is important to note, however, that impaired REM sleep behavior is not always an indicator of Lewy dementia.
The exact cause is not clear, but studies have shown that certain medications can trigger a sleep problem.
Evidence has also linked this to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Other symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies
The NHS lists other symptoms of dementia that require Lewy physical attention:
- Problems with understanding, thinking, memory and judgment – this is similar to Alzheimer's, although memory may be less affected in people with dementia and Lewy bodies
- Wake-up periods alternating with periods of confusion or drowsiness – these may change for hours or days
- Slow motion, stiff limbs and shivering (uncontrolled tremor)
- Hallucinations (usually seeing or sometimes hearing things that are not there)
- In the unconscious, the uncertainties and the downs
The health authority adds: "These problems can complicate daily activities and possibly someone with this disease may not be able to take care of themselves."
If you think you have the first symptoms of dementia, especially if you are over 65, see a family doctor
Here are the first signs of one of the most common types of dementia, vascular dementia.