What Is End-Stage Lewy Body Disease?

The end stage of Lewy body disease is the part of the disease progression where people become bedbound, have difficulty communicating and have little or no movement, according to Alzheimers North Carolina. At this stage, they commonly succumb to pneumonia or other infections.

Lewy body disease is a degenerative brain disease that destroys brain tissue and causes a decline in mental function, notes Mayo Clinic. The disease is similar to Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in that it causes clumps of protein to form in parts of the brain that are involved in memory, movement and thinking. These clumps are called Lewy bodies.

As Lewy body disease progresses, people experience movement disorders similar to Parkinson’s disease, states Alzheimers North Carolina. Muscles become rigid and cause stiff, slow movements. People in the end stage of the disease eventually lose the ability to move at all and require lifting or a wheelchair for transport.

Cognitive problems initially mimic Alzheimer’s disease with symptoms that include confusion, reduced attention and mild memory loss, explains Alzheimers North Carolina. In end stages of the disease, these symptoms expand, producing incoherent and repetitive speech. Individuals with Lewy body dementia also experience significant pain and become increasingly sensitive to touch.