Son: Who is my mum?
Mum: I don't know.
Son: Who am I?
Mum: I don't know.
A 45-year-old American man named "Joey" has been making a series of videos featuring him and his 66-year-old mother, Molly, who suffers from Lewy body dementia and posting them up on his YouTube channel.
Joey and Molly hope that through their videos, more people would be able to learn about dementia and the effects the disease bring to not just the patient but caregivers, too.
The videos are simple and usually shows mother and son spending quality time together. They go for a drive, hang out at the mall, eat at restaurants and have conversations. However, their conversations can sometimes take an emotional turn as Molly starts to forget the most basic things about herself and her family, and Joey fights back tears of sadness, knowing there is nothing much he can do to help her remember everthing.
In the sixth episode of their video series, Joey experiences "the worst day" of his life when his mother tells him she does not know who he is. The heartbreaking video was uploaded on Jan 31, and has so far garnered 1.2 views on YouTube with many sympathetic comments from users. The video has also been picked up by several websites all over the world, and shared on social media countless times.
About Lewy body dementia
Lewy body disease is one of the most common causes of dementia and happens when abnormal structures (Lewy bodies) build up in parts of the brain.
Lewy body dementia (LBD) refers to Parkinson's disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. Early symptoms of these two diseases differ, but reflect the same biological changes in the brain. Over time, patients with both diagnoses will develop similar cognitive, physical, sleep, and behavioural symptoms.
Although LBD is not a rare disease, LBD symptoms resemble other known diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's so it is usually underdiagnosed.
Although it may take more than a year for a doctor to diagnose LBD, early diagnosis is important as it allows for critical early treatment that may extend a patient's quality of life and independence.