Advances in LBD Research | Lewy Body Dementia Association LBDA

Advances in LBD Research

  • Contact Sports Linked to Lewy Body Disease
    Could playing contact sports increase the risk of developing LBD? A new study suggests that amateur and professional athletes who play contact sports are at greater risk of developing dementia, parkinsonism and have the presence of Lewy body (LB) disease pathology in the thinking areas of their brain.

  • Ask the Expert: Medical Marijuana – What Do We Know?
    With many states legalizing the use of medical marijuana (compounds called cannabinoids), and some even making it legal for recreational use, you might be wondering if it would be beneficial to people with Lewy body dementias (LBD). In our newest Ask the Expert article, Dr. Carol Lippa, Director of the Division of Cognitive Disorders at Thomas Jefferson University and member of LBDA’s Scientific Advisory Council explains what research has revealed so far about the benefits or risks of using medical marijuana in disorders like LBD.

  • LBD: State of the Science
    We are entering an era of unprecedented opportunity for understanding and treating Lewy body dementia (LBD). Our newest white paper, Lewy Body Dementia: The State of the Science provides the LBD community an easy-to-read overview of key major findings to date in LBD research. The report also highlights an vast array of opportunities to drive research progress forward.

  • Scientific Advance: Diagnosing LBD in Living Persons
    Using a procedure called a lumbar puncture (or spinal tap), researchers can now diagnose two Lewy body disorders with a high degree of accuracy — dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease. While very encouraging, more research is needed to know if the test results during life will match brain autopsy results.

  • Epilepsy Treatment Shows Promise in DLB
    Researchers in Japan published promising data on a Phase II clinical trial on an existing seizure medication in people with dementia with Lewy bodies. When used as an add-on treatment to levodopa, zonisamide improved motor symptoms in DLB without worsening psychiatric symptoms, a common side-effect in DLB. These findings require replication in a larger series of patients (i.e., Phase III trial) but suggest this medication may be potentially useful in a subset of DLB patients with motor symptoms that are less responsive to standard levodopa treatment

  • Research Advance: DLB Genetics Uniquely Different from Parkinson's
    The first large-scale genome-wide association study was recently completed in people with dementia with Lewy bodies, hinting at unique genetic differences between DLB, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. The findings confirmed previously reported associations of variations in three genes that increase the risk of a person developing DLB. Those genes are APOE, SNCA and GBA. A new gene, CNTN1, was also identified as one that may increase risk of DLB.

  • Could a Skin Biopsy Diagnose LBD?
    New research suggests skin biopsies may hold strong potential to help diagnose dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

  • Warning signs of LBD identified during mild cognitive impairment stage
    Microscopic protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, are present in the brain long before a person has enough symptoms to be diagnosed with Lewy body dementia (LBD). A new study identifies symptoms closely associated with LBD before a person has dementia — during the mild cognitive impairment stage.

  • New Diagnostic Criteria Published for DLB
    New criteria for diagnosing dementia with Lewy bodies now allows clinicians to combine both clinical symptoms with biomarker test results. This provides healthcare professionals greater flexibility for diagnosis a disorder which presents in a variety of ways.

  • LBD Duration Shortens with Co-existing Alzheimer’s Disease
    The rate of progression in Lewy body dementia (LBD) is hard to predict at the time of diagnosis. New research indicates the presence of a second neurodegenerative disease process, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), has an impact on one’s prognosis.

  • Symptoms Differ in Alzheimer's when Lewy Bodies are Present
    Lewy body pathology is found in up to 50% of cases of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, which can make it challenging for physicians to distinguish the underlying cause or causes of dementia symptoms. The diagnostic problem is compounded because Lewy bodies alone can result in Lewy body dementia. A new study shines new light on important clinical differences between people who have autopsy-verified Alzheimer’s disease pathology alone versus those who have both Alzheimer’s and Lewy bodies.