Advances in LBD Research | Lewy Body Dementia Association LBDA

Advances in LBD Research

  • Treatment Study Halted Early Because of Promising Results
    With all the recent news about failed clinical trials for disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, a little encouraging news is timely. ACADIA Pharmaceutical’s HARMONY study was halted after reaching its primary endpoints early.

  • LBD is the Most Expensive Dementia in America
    Dementia is one of the most expensive diseases in the United States, increasing Medicare costs 3 times over the cost for those without dementia. New research from the University of California, San Francisco, suggests that LBD tops the chart as the costliest form of dementia.

  • NINDS: Hunting for an LBD Biomarker
    Did you know that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) plays a leading role in funding research on Lewy body disorders? Because LBD and Parkinson’s disease share the same underlying biology, NINDS added LBD to their Parkinson’s Disease Biomarker Program (PDBP). In 2019 NINDS awarded another $4.3 million in research funding for the study of biological indicators of LBD during life. Unfortunately, recruitment of volunteers for these studies is proving harder than expected. Without the involvement and commitment of more people from the LBD community, some studies could fail simply from low enrollment.

  • What Happened In Vegas WON'T Stay In Vegas
    LBDA was in attendance at the International LBD Conference in Las Vegas, NV! Learn about some of the sessions given and the tracks available to participants.

  • Imaging Can Aid DLB Diagnosis Dementia Onset
    Finding a definitive medical test that confirms the presence of Lewy bodies during life is still being hotly pursued by scientists. A new study out of the UK reveals one brain scan may be helpful in identifying DLB very early, during mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

  • Increased Hospitalization in DLB Compared to AD
    Research suggests people with LBD may be more at risk for earlier and longer hospitalizations than people with Alzheimer’s disease.

  • A Great Beginning for the RCOE Program
    While we are hard at work planning our second year of “excellence in LBD,” check out what’s happening behind the scenes in the LBDA Research Centers of Excellence (RCOE) program, the nation’s first-ever comprehensive network of academic research centers to conduct LBD clinical trials, provide community outreach, and expand professional continuing medical education.

  • Preparing LBD Families about End of Life
    A new study highlights areas of additional guidance needed by Lewy body dementia (LBD) families as care recipients are nearing end of life.

  • 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.

  • Is a Precision Medicine Approach the Key to Successful Dementia Clinical Trials?
    Precision medicine is an emerging approach to providing medical care to individuals based on their unique genetic, environmental or lifestyle factors. A new atopsy study from investigators at University of Pennsylvania suggests that finding safe and effective treatments for dementia may require a precision medicine approach.

  • Lewy and Lumbar Punctures
    A lumbar puncture, also called spinal tap, is a low-risk medical procedure that can be done in a doctor’s office. Learn why spinal fluid is so important in LBD clinical research studies.

  • Warning Signs: Who Progresses from REM Sleep Behavior to Lewy Body Disorders?
    An unusual sleep disorder that makes people physically act out their dreams, called REM sleep disorder or RBD, is a known risk factor for LBD, Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy. New research has identified additional symptoms that, when paired with RBD, suggest a Lewy body disorder is underway. Read more about it on the Neurology Advisor

  • 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 of a disorder which presents in a variety of ways.

  • 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.

  • 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.