Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lewy Body dementia - It's a Nightmare

My papa has Lewy Body dementia.  Hallucinations, Rem sleep disorder, Parkinsons disease symptoms, and vascular blindness.  This is what Robin Williams had to look forward to, and he may have already been experiencing some of the indicators.

Maybe he'd already injured someone, a loved one, while acting out dramatic and/or violent dreams while asleep.  Maybe his hallucinations were occupying more and more of his waking life.  Many with Lewy Body are drug intolerant, experiencing every side effect on the label, and those drugs that normally help with psychotic behavior can push someone with Lewy Body even further into psychosis.

I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that my father put a hospital nurse in the e.r. He's punched, bitten, and hurled himself out of his wheel chair, crept along the floor on all fours to escape a war zone, climbed onto night tables to signal incoming planes, all to escape and/or combat the villains in his dreams, who are in reality caregivers and family members.  What I envisioned as shepherding my father to the end of days has become a daily prayer for release.

Knowing what I know now about Lewy Body dementia and its impact on the entire family, I think that Robin Williams may have taken the graceful way out, for more than just himself.

*Lewy body dementia, Parkinsons dementia, and Vascular dementia are cousins.  The difference is in the way they present -  physical first then dementia, dementia and physical onset simultaneously, etc.

About 20% of all diagnosed dementias are Lewy Body.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Autopsy: Robin Williams had Lewy body dementia

The hallucination-causing disease may have contributed to his decision to commit suicide

Autopsy: Robin Williams had Lewy body dementiaRobin Williams (Credit: AP/Dan Steinberg)
According to his official autopsy, actor and comedian Robin Williams had a disease calledLewy body dementia (LBD), which may have contributed to his decision to kill himself.
People with LBD have dementia and often appear disoriented. According to ABC News, Williams had displayed odd behavior in his final days — notably, he kept several watches in a sock and was “concerned about keeping the watches safe.”
“The dementia usually leads to significant cognitive impairment that interferes with everyday life,” said Angela Taylor, programming director of the Lewy Body Dementia Association in an interview with ABC News. Still, symptoms are hard to spot. “If you didn’t know them you may not realize anything is wrong.”
LBD is fairly common, with 1.3 million people suffering from the illness in the United States, although it largely remains undiagnosed since it shares symptoms with better-known diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Biologically, the disease stems from abnormal protein deposits in the brain stem where they stop the production of dopamine. In LBD, the deposits spread throughout the brain, including to the cerebral cortex (responsible for problem solving and perception). The main symptom is progressive dementia, although people with the disease may also experience complicated visual hallucinations that could include smells and sounds, trouble sleeping, changes in attention and symptoms generally associated with Parkinson’s disease (which Williams also had).
Typically, patients are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease first, and then LBD symptoms begin to appear. An examination of Williams’ brain revealed that it had undergone changes associated with Alzheimer’s, in addition to Parkinson’s and LBD.
“Though his death is terribly sad,” Taylor said, “it’s a good opportunity to inform people about this disease and the importance of early diagnosis.”
Joanna Rothkopf
Joanna Rothkopf is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on science, health and society. Follow @JoannaRothkopf or email jrothkopf@salon.com.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Love this Amazon customer review!

Thanks so much for it, Merrick Hansen!

5.0 out of 5 stars breath-stealing masterpieceOctober 26, 2014
This novel has me hooked. Quinn manages to take science fiction and fantasy, familiar post-apocalyptic themes, and blend them into something indescribably breathtaking. It's like a trip down the rabbit hole. The very first scene had my heart pounding, and I don't think that feeling subsided. I read this all in one day and I feel like I'm still lingering in the world Quinn so masterfully created. Honestly more fantastic than the more popular YA series I have read and seen turned into movies, I hope Quinn's series garners so much more attention and soon. I feel honored to have read this novel and I'll be spreading it like wildfire! This world of dreams and nightmares is absolutely unforgettable.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Think about it...

Every day women and girls are taught to hate themselves.  How many corporations would fail if we didn't believe the advertising?

The power to dream it a new way is yours.