Naomi Higuchi


56 years old (As of October 2018 interview)

Year of birth:


Place of residence:

Chiba Prefecture

Relatives living together:

Living with husband



Age of onset:

About 40 years old

Age of diagnosis:

50 years old


Lewy body

Dementia rating scale?Mini-Mental State Examination(MMSE)
The most widely used screening test internationally for identifying dementia, in which questions are asked directly to subjects. The MMSE assesses cognitive functions with a series of questions/tasks related to orientation, memory, attention and calculation, language, giving commands and copying a picture. The test yields the highest score of 30 points, and, in general, those who score 23 points or lower are identified as suspected patients with dementia.Revised Hasegawa's Dementia Scale (HDS-R)
A screening test widely used in Japan for identifying dementia, in which questions are asked directly to subjects. It has 9 questions/tasks related to age, orientation, immediate memory and delayed recall of 3 words, calculation, backward digit span, memory of 5 objects and language fluency. The test yields the highest score of 30 points, and, in general, those who score 20 points or lower are identified as suspected patients with dementia.

MMSE 25About (As of 2013)

Using long-term care insurance:

Not using the services

Frequency of gatherings with other people with dementia:

Running a message board for people with Lewy body dementia to interact with each other

Past experiences


Repeatedly saw visions of people but thought they were optical illusions


Misdiagnosed as depression after visiting hospital for insomnia, headaches and fatigue. Suffered from the wrong treatment and serious drug side effects for about 6 years


Stopped medication and regained health


Started to see visions of people more frequently


Became aware of visual hallucinations and visited a specialist. Placed on observation without any diagnosis or treatment.
Resigned from a part-time job due to poor health and repeated mistakes



Diagnosed with juvenile Lewy body dementia based on symptoms. Symptoms improved after treatment began


Started to participate in projects or accept interviews that were related to dementia anonymously around this time


Spoke at the "Lewy Forum 2015" in my real name for the first time.
Published "What Happened in My Brain" (bookman/sha) and won the Medical Journalists Association of Japan Award for Excellence


Thinking ability remains unchanged, but had attention disorder, impaired sense of time, impaired spatial cognition, olfactory disturbance, autonomic dysfunction, visual and auditory hallucinations, and a variety of other symptoms

Publication, links, etc.

Website|Naomi Higuchi Official web site LINK

Publication|『Malfunctioning Brain』
Publisher: Igaku ShoinYear of Publication: 2020年 LINK

Publication|『What Happened in My Brain』
Publisher: bookman.shaYear of Publication: 2015年 LINK

Publication|『Home Healthcare College - 21 multidisciplinary lectures to support the local symbiosis society』
Publisher: Igaku ShoinYear of Publication: 2018年 LINK

Publication|『Self Support Study for Everyone』
Publisher: Kongo-shuppanYear of Publication: 2017年 LINK

Publication|『Life Doesn't End When You Have Dementia - Words from me with dementia to you with dementia - We are with dementia』
Publisher: harunosoraYear of Publication: 2017年 LINK

Publication|『Small but Loud Words from People with Dementia - Can you see my voice?』
Publisher: harunosoraYear of Publication: 2015年 LINK

Publication|『The Shape of Future Medical and Nursing Care: 10 recommendations for a bright future in a super-aging society』
Publisher: Japan Medical PlanningYear of Publication: 2016年 LINK

Website|Malfunctioning Brain - Lewy body dementia self support study LINK

Joy in life and living


Joy that you have given up

Cooking various cuisines from around the world


Joy that remains with you even after onset



Joy that has come to you after onset

Clearing misunderstanding about disease/dementia


Joy that has come to you after onset

Meeting people

Something you would like to do in the future

I hope that any person with a brain disease or disorder, not only dementia, and their family members, can live a normal life in society. I would like to find what I can do for that purpose.
When I was diagnosed in 2013, Lewy body dementia was a disease that no one knew about. People did not know that many with the disease were suffering from misdiagnosis and drug side effects, either. However, I feel that the situation has changed considerably over the past six years. I feel that the way dementia is perceived has also changed dramatically, thanks to the efforts of many people. I hope that such changes will spread to other diseases and disorders as well.

Challenges in daily living

Physical and mental dysfunctions

Message to the society

The way we perceive and understand dementia has changed dramatically. Much of the unfortunate confusion that used to occur due to "man-made disasters" can be prevented. Today, more and more people are living with a smile on their faces even after diagnosis. Staying connected to people/society and continuing to live a fulfilling life is the best treatment. Instead of blindly fearing dementia, let us work to create a society where people can live happily with a smile even if they have dementia. As the first step, please update your perception of dementia.