Approximately 1.4 million people in Georgia and the rest of the United States are affected by Lewy body dementia, or LBD. The disease is underdiagnosed because its symptoms are very similar to conditions like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Many medical professionals, including physicians, are unable to recognize LBD.
LBD is a brain disorder in which abnormal deposits of the alpha-synuclein protein accumulate in the parts of the brain that oversee cognitive, behavioral and moving abilities. It is a progressive and complex disease whose symptoms can include complications with memory, moving, sleeping and thinking. The disease also impacts the autonomic functions of the body, such as bowel function, blood pressure control, bladder function and temperature regulation. It can also cause people to hallucinate visually and act out as they are dreaming.
There is continuing research to determine the causes of LBD. It is likely that there are multiple factors, such as environmental and genetic factors, that contribute to the condition. It is also believed that these factors coupled with the processes that occur with natural aging can make individuals susceptible to the disease.
Individuals who suffer from LBD may suffer from impaired thinking; for example, they may have difficulty with memorization, comprehending visual information and executing functions like processing information and planning. LBD sufferers may also exhibit difficulties with alertness and attention; experience issues with movement, such as stiffness, slowness, tremors and difficulty with walking; experience changes in behavior and sleep; and see hallucinations.
An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may pursue financial compensation on behalf of clients whose medical condition was misdiagnosed. Physicians and other negligent medical personnel may be held financially liable for misdiagnoses and the failure to administer appropriate exams that resulted in a worsened medical condition, unnecessary treatment, delayed treatment, additional medical expenses, permanent disability or death.