Medical experts believe that about 1.4 million people in Georgia and around the country suffer from Lewy body dementia, which makes the disease more common than ALS, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy combined. However, researchers who specialize in LBD think that the true number of people who have the condition is likely much higher. This is because it is often misdiagnosed.
LBD is caused by a buildup of protein deposits in brain cells. These deposits are known as Lewy bodies because they were first observed by the neurologist Frederick Lewy. The symptoms of LBD are debilitating and include impaired motor skills, difficulty thinking, hallucinations, cognitive issues, apathy, depression and problems coordinating movements. Most of those afflicted by the disease are over the age of 60, and scientists have yet to determine what causes it. Those diagnosed with LBD usually die of an underlying condition, such as an infection or pneumonia, after suffering with the disease for between five and eight years.
Despite being responsible for up to 25% of adult dementia cases, LBD is often missed by physicians. The condition is most often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease or some sort of psychiatric disorder. The comedian Robin Williams was suffering from the disease when he took his own life in 2014, and the media mogul Ted Turner has revealed that he suffers from the condition. Both Williams and Turner were misdiagnosed.
A timely and accurate diagnosis can add years to the life of an individual afflicted by a progressive disease like LBD. When doctors fail to order tests that could identify debilitating conditions or order tests and misinterpret the results, experienced attorneys could pursue legal remedies on behalf of patients who have been harmed as a consequence by filing medical malpractice lawsuits.