All research studies involve assessments which may include surveys, interviews, physical examinations and/or medical tests. The tests may include studying your genes by taking a sample of your DNA, either by blood or saliva. The results are kept confidential by the study team. There is one exception; if a medical condition is discovered that requires medical care, that information may be shared with your physician or added to your medical record.
Brain imaging scans provide information on the function and structure of the brain. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field to make pictures. Positron emission tomography (PET) uses a tracer drug to show how tissue and organs function. A single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scan also uses a tracer drug to create a 3-D picture of the brain and can show what areas are more or less active.
The clear fluid that flows through the spinal column and brain provides key information about proteins linked to LBD.
Some studies include an option to donate one's brain after death. A brain donation allows researchers to do a brain autopsy. The results of the brain autopsy can then be compared to results of medical tests done while the person was alive. The comparison can provide a more clear answer about what caused the person’s symptoms during life. The results of the brain autopsy can also shed light on how exactly LBD affects the brain.