How Is LBD Different from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s?

Lewy body dementia, or LBD, is a condition many people don’t know about until it strikes someone they know.
It’s not uncommon for people to mistake LBD for one of two more well-known conditions, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. While LBD does have similarities to both diseases, it is unique, differing from each of them in significant ways.


Elderly Care in Bala Cynwyd PA: LBD vs. Parkinson’s Disease

Elderly Care in Bala Cynwyd PA: LBD vs. Parkinson’s Disease


LBD vs. Parkinson’s Disease

LBD and Parkinson’s are similar in that they both impact nerve cells located in the brain and are progressive diseases. Symptoms of both diseases start out mild and gradually worsen as time goes on. Neither disease can be diagnosed using a single test. Instead, diagnosis typically involves a series of tests to rule other problems out. LBD causes problems with movement that resemble those caused by Parkinson’s disease, such as muscle rigidity and tremors, which is where the confusion between the two often comes in.

LBD differs from Parkinson’s disease in that thinking and memory problems start in earlier stages with LBD than they normally do with Parkinson’s. In fact, some people with Parkinson’s never experience dementia symptoms at all. Essentially, the timing of the symptoms is reversed in the two diseases. LBD starts with dementia and seniors later develop motor symptoms. Parkinson’s, on the other hand, starts with motor symptoms and dementia develops later, if at all.


LBD vs. Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is well known because it is the most common cause of dementia, affecting more than 5 million people in the United States. LBD is the second most common but affects far fewer people at 1.3 million Americans. The two diseases are similar in that both affect the senior’s abilities to think, pay attention, and their alertness. Both diseases can also cause hallucinations.

The primary difference between the two is that the symptoms of LBD, including memory problems, can vary from day-to-day. On one day, the senior may not remember your name and the next she will know who you are and be able to identify other family members, too. With Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms can vary a bit, but not to the degree that they do with LBD. Typically, Alzheimer’s causes a steady decline in memory and cognitive abilities.


If your aging relative has LBD, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s, senior care can help them to remain at home for longer. A senior care provider can ensure the older adult stays safe by keeping an eye on them and making sure they do not wander, fall, or harm themselves. Senior care providers can also make sure they eat well by cooking healthy meals and encouraging them to eat, assisting if necessary. In addition, senior care providers can assist with daily activities of living, like dressing, grooming, toileting, and bathing.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Bala Cynwyd, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care.
Call today: (484) 206-4544



Ibrahim & Mariama Suma-Keita