Friday October 10, 2008

I recently received this thought provoking email from an old friend I knew during medical school:


“If you have a choice why not place your license in inactive status just in case God works a miracle and heals you?”


Knowing what we do about dementia, what do you think of this question?  Write a comment on the blog sharing your thoughts and ideas with me and with others on this question!



Frequency of Lewy Body Dementia

United States

Findings from autopsy studies suggest that Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) accounts for 10-20% of dementias. Up to 40% of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) have concomitant LBDs. These mixed cases are sometimes called the LB variant of AD (LBV-AD) and represent an overlap syndrome between LBD and AD. Signs and symptoms of LBV-AD also overlap between LBD and AD. Because the sensitivity and specificity of clinical diagnosis are poor, no good epidemiologic data on incidence or prevalence of LBD are available.


Autopsy studies in Europe and Japan indicate that the frequency of LBD is comparable with that reported in studies from the United States.

Mortality/Morbidity of Lewy Body Dementia

  • Dementing illnesses (including LBD) shorten life expectancy.
  • With severe disease, patients may experience swallowing problems that can lead to impaired nutrition.
  • Patients are at risk for falls because of impaired mobility and balance.
  • Because of prolonged bed rest, patients are at risk for decubitus ulcers.
  • Dysphagia (difficulty with swallowing) and immobility also can lead to pneumonia.


LBD has been described in Asian, African, and European races. Data concerning the relative frequency of LBD in different races are not available.


Most studies suggest that LBD is slightly more common in men than in women.


LBD is a disease of late middle age and old age.



·      Pam and I are taking a friend up to Niagara Falls today. Just a nice little day trip to get out, to see the leaves and to just relax. It’s a gorgeous sunny day here today in Northwest Pennsylvania.



Tomorrow I will talk about a new agent on the market for dementia!



Dr. David


6 Responses

  1. David,
    I do believe in God’s healing. I have a prayer on my site that I prayed often over the past year (after my diagnosis of FTD). When I went to the neurologist in September, I was told I only have Mild Cognitive Impairment now, even though the MRI shows moderat frontal/temporal atrophy. I have no signs/symptoms of FTD. I call this a ‘miracle’…I was healed/put into remission or given the original diagnosis so I would move to KS to be here for my daughter, who had twins this year. Either way, it was “A God thing”.

  2. If it were I, I’d put the license on inactive. It costs little or nothing and I like leaving doors open when possible.


  3. David, if you have the opportunity of retaining your licence as inactive I will say go for it! Why close that door if you would still want to work? Without that crystal ball none of us knows what is around the corner, perhaps a cure. As well, I would think it would be emotionally healthier for you to know the option is there for you should a cure be found than to give it up together at your young age. I recently moved 3000 miles across Canada and am on leave from work rather than retired just in case things don’t work out and I want to return to my old job. I won’t, but it was easier for me to walk away from it that way than by making it a final leave taking. Sandra

  4. I like your friend’s idea – put your license on inactive status. Never lose hope. Even with my Mom’s advancing stages, a little piece of me can’t let go of hope.

  5. Dementia is a disease that knows no boundaries. It is blind to the categories in which we usually place our fellow human beings. It can occur at the age of 55 or 85. It can happen to Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, males and females, rich and poor. It will not spare ex-presidents or ex-prime ministers. It did not spare my mother. Tears are shed by husbands and wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters—in fact anyone responsible for the care of a loved one with dementia.

    Bob Tell, Author

  6. I agree that putting your license on inactive is the way to go. Who knows what the future will bring or if a “cure” is soon to be found.
    Regardless of what you do, however, you will still be Dr. David to all of us on the Lewy Journey.
    Your blogs are an inspiration. Thank you for your insight. You have the ability to explain things so we are able to understand them. We are blessed.

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