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 cause of death? 
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Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:22 pm
Posts: 3
Location: NH
Post cause of death?
What is the actual cause of death in those who have LBD? My father currently has shingles. can LBD kill? or is it other diseases, once weakened by LBD, that are the culprit? I am so tired.

Tue May 20, 2008 10:41 pm

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
LBD is not the immediate cause of death.

Most in our local support group who have died with pathologically confirmed LBD have died from pneumonia or swallowing difficulties. Many with swallowing difficulties themselves stopped drinking (and eating), thereby hastening death.

I think it is also possible to die from complications of immobility (infected bed sores). It's important to keep loved ones as mobile and active as long as possible, and prevent falls.

In addition to getting a brain autopsy for final confirmation of the neurodegenerative diagnosis, I also recommend getting a body autopsy. The body can be donated to science, but this isn't required. You can learn a great deal from an autopsy -- not just the immediate cause of death -- that can be helpful to blood relatives.

Tue May 20, 2008 10:57 pm

Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 12:34 pm
Posts: 13
Post tjarvela: Shingles
I can understand your fatigue. My father's LBD wasn't diagnosed until after he had the shingles ordeal. It was truly difficult on both of us! It took me about a week to decide that his skin condition could be shingles (allbeit thanks to physician's photos on the net). My father already had various dermatological problems, so another rash didn't seem too unusual. Once I was aware that he might have shingles, then I had to get his physician to make the diagnosis.

To make a long story short, the once daily Valtrex helped to stop the outbreak of the rash, but then to keep my dad from scratching the skin took some creative management. His scratching had already left him with several sore areas, and these happened to be directly beneath the elastic of his paper underwear. The ridges created by the elastic in the underwear made him very uncomfortable, so to alleviate the ridges, I used adhesive backed sanitary pads between his fragile skin and the underwear to soften the touch on his affected areas. These helped a lot!

The nerve pain, which my dad described as an intense itch, persisted for 4 to 5 months after the rash was gone. In fact, he still takes a 300mg dose of gabapentin at bedtime each night, or else he complains of an intense itch the next morning.

Shingles is not an easy disease to endure if the person has a clear mind. I hope you are receiving adequate care from your father's physician, so that you have the necessary medications for your LO's discomfort at your disposal. It was frustrating for me, as my father's only caretaker, not to know HOW to help him feel comfortable. Like I mentioned before, I had to use creative management to establish a level of comfort for him. My thoughts are with you!


Thu May 22, 2008 12:58 pm
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