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Introduction to Synuclein Biomarkers: How researchers are “seeing” Lewy bodies in the living brain

February 29 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm EST

Lewy body dementia (LBD) – including both Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) – can be challenging to diagnose.  

Currently, diagnosis is made based on signs and symptoms during life.  While some laboratory tests can support diagnosis in life, confirmation is usually made after the end of life, if at all, based on the results of a brain autopsy. 

While specialist physicians can be very accurate at making an accurate diagnosis during life, unfortunately some errors are made, affecting both clinical care and research into the causes and potential treatments of LBD. 

One of the primary challenges has been that there was no laboratory test that could tell during life who had the hallmark brain change associated with LBD – namely, clumps of the misfolded protein alpha-synuclein. In recent years, though, tremendous progress has been made in developing such tests – which researchers call biomarkers. Although not yet ready for widespread frontline medical use in primary care, these tests are now being used in specialty clinics and in research. 

During this webinar, Dr. Kathleen Poston, a leading figure in LBD research and care and co-lead of the LBDA Research Center of Excellence at Stanford University will discuss the recent advances in the development of biomarkers for alpha-synuclein, how they are changing research in LBD, and how they may change clinical practice in the future.  

Dr. Poston will also describe the two synuclein biomarkers that are currently available to physicians and provide a sneak peek into the potential for future biomarkers that may provide even more information to researchers and clinicians about the development and progression of Lewy bodies.  A Q&A session will follow. 

After this webinar, attendees will be able to: 

  1. Describe the current diagnostic process for Lewy body dementia
  2. Define what a biomarker is 
  3. List two ways in which medical professionals may test a person for the presence of brain Lewy bodies
  4. Recognize why your doctor may or may not prescribe a test

Registration Link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GNPq5LL-Tz29GZyWtg2CPQ



Kathleen Poston, MD, MS 

Edward F. and Irene Thiele Pimley Professor of Neurology and the Neurological Sciences and Professor, Stanford University 

Dr. Kathleen Poston is the Edward F. and Irene Thiele Pimley Professor in Neurology and Neurological Sciences and (by courtesy) Neurosurgery at Stanford University. Dr. Poston’s research and clinical emphasis is to understand the motor and non-motor impairments, such as dementia, that develop in patients with Lewy body pathology. Dr. Poston is Chief of the Movement Disorders Division and holds an appointment in the Memory Disorders division. She is a founding member of the Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and co-Director for the Lewy Body Dementia Association Research Center of Excellence at Stanford University, and Director of the Stanford Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence. 

Questions?  Please email Rose Heithoff at rheithoff@lbda.org for assistance.


February 29
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm EST