LBDA

International Conference a Huge Success

The International Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) Conference took place in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on December 1-4, 2015, bringing together 400 LBD research stakeholders. Attendees included scientists from across the globe, clinicians, patients, caregivers plus representatives from the National Institutes of Health and for-profit corporations. Organized by Mayo Clinic and the Lewy Body Dementia Association, this is the first national or international conference on DLB ever held in the US.
The purpose of the meeting was to present the most recent science, to determine whether the evidence supports updating the diagnostic criteria, and if possible, to define prodromal DLB (i.e. an earlier stage featuring mild cognitive impairment instead of dementia). Four scientific working groups are tasked with developing consensus recommendations, to be ultimately published in a scientific journal. 
The 4 day scientific track was a veritable who’s who of the LBD research community and was opened by conference director, Brad Boeve, MD of Mayo Clinic. Experts from across the globe were on hand to present and participate in thought-provoking discussion on both forms of Lewy body dementia (LBD), which includes DLB and Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD). Throughout the conference, people with LBD and family caregivers mingled with scientists and clinicians and attended presentations in a parallel track for the LBD community and allied healthcare professionals.
People with LBD and family caregivers came from as far away as Alaska and were as eager to engage the clinicians and scientists, as they were each other. For most of the people diagnosed with LBD, it was the first time they had ever been together with others with the same condition.
International participation of the scientific community was strong, and included giants like Dr. Kenji Kosaka who first defined the pathology and clinical description of DLB, and Dr. Ian McKeith whose research and leadership brought scientists together to first publish and later refine the diagnostic criteria. The conference directors presented awards to three individuals for their pioneering work in LBD research and advocacy, including Dr. Kosaka, Dr. McKeith and LBDA’s Director of Programs, Angela Taylor.  
The conference proceedings (summaries of the scientific presentations and poster abstracts) has been published by the American Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases. The publication can be downloaded here.
Articles reporting on the conference will be published by Alzheimer’s Research Forum later in December. Watch for an email announcement from LBDA when it is available. A number of attendees also tweeted throughout the event under #IDLBC15.