Lewy Body Dementia Symptoms to Watch For

Lewy body dementia is the second most prevalent type of Dementia, after Alzheimer’s disease. Most people, when they think of Dementia, recall symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, but they must know the symptoms that are specific to Lewy body Dementia. Deposits of a protein called Lewy bodies in the nerve cells are responsible for the development of Dementia. Sometimes the symptoms might seem similar to Parkinson’s disease, hence you must consult a doctor before concluding. 

Lewy body dementia symptoms to watch for

1. Weakening of voice

Although it is normal for seniors to lose vocal ability with age, the degree of loss is far greater in people suffering from Lewy Body Dementia. Family members can easily tell when a senior person in the family begins to lose his or her voice. Muscle atrophy is far greater in this case, and the person may struggle to utter simple words/phrases such as “Hi”, “Hello”, or “How are you?”. 

2. Visual hallucinations

Some seniors do begin to see the world differently as they age. They begin doubting the people they have known for years. Visual hallucinations are one of the early signs of Lewy body dementia. They begin to see things that aren’t real. People who suffer from Visual hallucinations often struggle with performing activities that require long time focus (such as reading, watching a movie, debating with someone, etc.).

3. Difficulty moving body 

Sudden loss of mobility is another sign of Lewy body dementia. It is common for family members to confuse these symptoms with that of Parkinson’s. Hence, it is important to consult a doctor. The doctor will assess mental abilities, and run some blood tests. You should take your senior family member to a doctor if they begin falling suddenly, or are experiencing tremors while walking. 

4. Cognitive decline

As I mentioned in one of the previous sections, some symptoms of Lewy body dementia are similar to Alzheimer’s disease. One big issue is, the decline in cognition is slow, hence it is difficult for family members to diagnose. You will often see folks with Lewy body dementia confused when asked simple questions. They struggle to pay attention when you are talking to them. Their mind is always preoccupied with minuscule matters. And they become scatterbrained.

5. Feet getting glued to the ground

Along with general mobility issues such as difficulty moving hands, walking, etc, people with Lewy body dementia also suffer from frozen stances. They do not feel their legs after standing in one position for more than a couple of minutes. They feel like their feet are stuck to the ground. They can feel their upper body, but fail to move their lower limbs. 

6. Excessive sleep during the day and night 

Seniors with Lewy body dementia sleep for more than eight hours at night. Despite a good night’s sleep, they feel sleepy during the day. You must consult a doctor if a senior person in your family sleeps more than 10 hours in the 24 hours. There was an incident where a woman with Lewy body dementia slept three days in a row, and nights in a row. She stayed awake for the next three days. Conclusively, their sleep patterns are severely disrupted.

7. Alteration in handwriting

This one is easy to spot. Simply compare the handwriting of your family member in concern with their handwriting of 2-3 years ago. If the font size is smaller by 60-70 percent, it could be a sign of Lewy body dementia. This is mainly due to confusion, and lack of muscle coordination. They think they are writing in regular font size, but they are not. Generally speaking, handwriting quality is a good indicator of a senior person’s overall physical and mental health— this is only if their handwriting was better in the past.  

8. Swallowing dysfunction

It is common for seniors to choke when eating. They struggle to eat food items that they used to enjoy when they were healthy. It is observed that they can eat well when there are no or fewer distractions. They can eat properly only when they are fully focused on the task of eating. Doctors often suggest Lewy body dementia patients eat when they are fully awake and focused. Family caregivers are advised to eliminate distractions such as TV, radio, etc. 

9. Fluctuations in body temperature may occur 

Normal body temperature in seniors is approximately 37°C (98.6°F). Experts suggest that body temperature in healthy individuals can differ by 0.5°C (0.9°F). Such is not the case with individuals with Lewy body dementia. They experience frequent hot or cold spells. The body temperature can change to a greater degree within a couple of hours.  

10. Drastic change in mood 

Someone who once used to be jovial becomes agitated, impatient, or restless. The change in mood is drastic, anyone including neighbors or co-workers can detect the change in mood and behavior. In addition to that, they also become apathetic. They begin to lack interest in activities of daily living. Instead of being enthusiastic about things like birthdays or anniversaries they remain quiet or disinterested. The degree of apathy is bigger than normally seen in elderly people.   


Lewy body dementia symptoms are quite similar to that of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. But in addition to cognitive decline, the person also suffers from movement disorders. First, the mobility issues begin, and then cognition begins to decline. In that order.

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