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What Is Lewy Body Dementia?

Treatment

Right now, there aren’t any drugs that can stop or reverse Lewy body dementia. But medications can help relieve your symptoms for a few months. These drugs include:

  • Drugs that treat thinking problems, including donepezil (Aricept) and rivastigmine (Exelon). People with Alzheimer’s often take these meds, too.
  • Levodopa (Dopar, Laradopa) can improve movement problems or rigid limbs.

Some drugs, called neuroleptic or antipsychotic medicines, can treat severe hallucinations or behavior problems for people with Alzheimer’s, but they’re often not good for people with LBD. They can make some symptoms, such as hallucinations, trouble moving, or thinking problems, much worse. If you need these drugs, your doctor will have to watch you very carefully for bad side effects.

 

Besides medications, you can do other things to ease your LBD symptoms:

  • Physical therapy can guide you through exercises that can improve your movements and balance.
  • If you’re depressed, anxious, or have other mood problems, consider counseling or psychotherapy. They can help you find ways to handle your emotions. Support groups also are great ways to connect with others who live with LBD.
  • Occupational therapy can help you learn easier ways to handle tasks that are hard to do with LBD.

Organizations like the Lewy Body Dementia Association or the Alzheimer’s Association can give you more information about dementia and direct you to resources in your area, too.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on May 19, 2015
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