Diagnostics & Therapeutics

Dementia with Lewy bodies (LBD) presents as a primary dementing disorder which is frequently misdiagnosed because of the variable pattern of clinical symptoms.

LBD is a complex neurodegenerative disease, which represent considerable diagnostic and management challenges. Through our clinical studies the BRU will therefore improve the early and accurate diagnosis, enhance the understanding of disease course and potential modifiers, identify the pathophysiology of key symptoms, and evaluate the effects of novel treatments.

Our new cohort studies will use newly developed inventories to assess prodromal symptoms of LBDs in patients entering care pathways through memory assessment, movement disorder and general medicine/delirium clinical services.

Experienced clinicians and scientists aim to improve our understanding of key disease symptoms and develop novel means of diagnosis, monitoring and treatment that will lead to significant advances in patient management. Our research also includes individuals with Parkinson’s disease who then develop Dementia.

Given the modest benefits available from current drug treatments it is self-evident that new treatments are urgently required for neurodegenerative dementias.

The Lewy Body Dementias (LBDs) represent a particular challenge due to their combination of motor and non-motor symptoms, conspiring to produce high levels of disability and a disease course that is generally accepted to be more aggressive than that associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The BRU is supported by state of the art research facilities ideally suited to early studies in older and frail people with LBD. We have extensive regional networks to ensure adequate trial recruitment and have strong links with specialised clinics (“CRESTAs”) to facilitate identification of specific patient groups.

The Clinical Ageing Research Unit is purpose-built for studies in the older person and allows evaluation of diverse drug and non-pharmacological approaches. With a strong track record in the development of experimental studies with industry our therapeutic aims are to improve symptom management of people with LBDs addressing, in particular, the cognitive and neuropsychiatric burden that currently represents major unmet needs.

We also wish to evaluate novel putative disease-modifying agents. These aims will be achieved through evaluation of specific drug re-positioning, a multiple agent approach, and the development of non-pharmacological interventions.

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