There are at least 1.4 million people in Massachusetts and across the U.S. who have Lewy body dementia, yet the number may be higher due to how often this condition is misdiagnosed. Many people have not heard of it, yet LBD is more widespread than cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and ALS combined.

Lewy body dementia in more detail

LBD is a form of dementia caused by the formation of protein deposits called Lewy bodies in the nerve cells of the brain that help in thinking and movement. The result can be impaired cognitive and motor skills, sudden changes in one’s attention span and alertness, hallucinations, sleep disorders and depression. There’s no cure for LBD.

The reason for the misdiagnoses

Many doctors will mistake LBD for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or a psychiatric disorder. As for why it’s so hard to pinpoint, it partly has to do with the lack of a particular pattern that can apply to all LBD patients. It’s true that LBD affects men more than women and especially hits those over 60. Doctors cannot determine, though, how people contract it and whether environment or chemicals can contribute.

LBD does not discriminate in the sense that even the healthiest and most fit individuals can suffer from it. Without a neurologist, even those with the money for extensive medical care might not have it identified.

Malpractice attorney by your side

Perhaps someone you love has LBD and suffered from a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Under medical malpractice law, you may be able to seek out compensatory damages if the error was caused by a doctor’s negligence. To see if your case meets all the requirements for a valid claim, you may want to consult with an attorney. This is likely a stressful time for you, so the attorney may be able to handle all negotiations in your place.