Lewy body experts to talk about often misdiagnosed dementia

Although it is the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia often is misdiagnosed, sometimes leading to problems with treatment and care.

Four area experts — including two from the Mayo Clinic — will offer insights into current research, difficulties faced by people with Lewy body dementia and their families, and strategies for coping with the disease during a presentation at the Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. N.

The program will be from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10. It is part of the monthly Dementia: Caring & Coping series sponsored by the Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team (Roseville A/D).

Often associated with Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia affects about 1.4 million Americans. As with Alzheimer’s, there is no known cure for the progressive disease and treatment typically focuses on controlling symptoms. Those symptoms can include confusion, hallucinations, movement disorders, sleep issues, depression, speech problems and fluctuating attention.

Last year, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester was selected to lead a new collaboration of Lewy Body Dementia Association Research Centers of Excellence at 24 academic medical centers across the nation.

Speakers at the program Oct. 10 will be:

Paula Rice Biever, who leads two Lewy body support groups, giving an overview of the disease and challenges faced by people with Lewy body dementia and their care partners.

Leah Forsberg, from Mayo Clinic, talking about its role and describing current medical research and Centers of Excellence community outreach projects. 

 Angela Lunde, also from the Mayo Clinic, describing what she has learned from patients and their care partners about dealing with a diagnosis of Lewy body dementia.

Tamara Statz, a marriage and family therapist at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, describing current caregiver research projects at the University’s Center on Aging, with information that applies to all types of dementia.

 On Thursday, Nov. 14, from 1 to 3 p.m., the Dementia: Caring & Coping program at Roseville Library will be a presentation by well-known grief and family educator Ted Bowman, who will lead a session called “Strategies for Living with Ambiguity.” He will address living well with ambiguity and ambiguous losses, especially those associated with caring for someone with dementia.

 For more information about the Dementia: Caring & Coping series and about Roseville A/D, go to www.cityofroseville.com/DementiaInfo.

— Warren Wolfe is a Roseville resident who retired from the Star Tribune, where he wrote about aging and health policy issues. He is active in Roseville A/D

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