LBDA Receives Mangurian Grant
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, USA, January 16, 2006 The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) has recently been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. Foundation to further its work in building awareness and support for 800,000 U.S. families facing Lewy body dementia (LBD) and to help promote research for an eventual cure for this disease.
Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. learned firsthand about the plight facing LBD patients and their families and wanted to help bring this disease out of its shadows. “From the information available through the LBDA, I was surprised by the general lack of recognition and awareness of this disease, even within the medical profession. Hopefully, this grant will help solve this problem and will provide caregivers guidance in assisting those with this debilitating disease,” said Mangurian.
Mr. Mangurian’s business ventures span many industries, including owner of the 1981 champion Boston Celtics and other professional sports teams, such as the Memphis Rogues soccer franchise, owner of Mockingbird Farm in Ocala, Florida, where he was North America’s leading thoroughbred breeder, real estate development and construction, national furniture retailing, and charter jet aviation.
Dr. Ian McKeith who serves on the LBDA Scientific Advisory Council, shared his enthusiasm about the grant, “There are great medical management benefits for people with LBD and their families if this condition is recognized early and treated effectively. The LBDA, supported by this special donation, will play a key role in increasing the awareness of this generally unrecognized disease and will help make a real difference in patient outcomes.”
LBD, while largely unknown to the general public, is now recognized by the international medical community as the second-most common form of degenerative dementia in the United States. Symptoms include fluctuating cognitive abilities, hallucinations, Parkinson’s-like symptoms, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (a sleep disorder characterized by frightening dreams and physically thrashing about), and a life-threatening sensitivity to certain medications. Early, accurate diagnosis provides families with the opportunity for treatment with cholinesterase inhibitors, which can significantly reduce cognitive impairment and psychiatric features of LBD and thus improve their quality of life. It also allows clinicians and families to minimize the use of antipsychotic medications, as up to 50% of LBD patients show an extreme sensitivity that can potentially be fatal. Symptom management is complex, as many medications used to treat the Parkinson-like symptoms, behavioral problems, and mood disorders can exacerbate other LBD symptoms.