Research (and its funding) has lagged far behind Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other common age-related dementias. As a result, progress has been relatively slow to date in unraveling the biological causes of LBD and improving our ability to diagnose and treat the disorder. The inclusion of Lewy body dementia under the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease is driving increased funding into this underserved disease.
Both diagnoses under the LBD umbrella, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD), are very under-studied, in comparison to AD. While there are relatively well-funded research programs for Parkinson's disease, and thus cognition in PD, in contrast, systematic study of DLB has been very difficult.
In part, this is due to people with DLB being difficult to diagnosis as they may not show typical symptoms other than dementia early in the course of the disease (e.g., motor symptoms of parkinsonism, visual hallucinations) and thus their cognitive impairment may be wrongly attributed to AD. Significantly, this led to essentially no large-scale studies of DLB, a lack of research funding focused on DLB, and as a result, the field is hindered by substantial research gaps.
"We know how important LBD research is to the LBD families we support, and we at the Lewy Body Dementia Association are thrilled about the gains made in LBD research and advocacy in the last 5 years. Therefore, we published, "Lewy Body Dementia: The State of the Science," to update and inform our community with the major findings to date in LBD research. "said Mike Koehler, CEO, of LBDA.
While this paper does not purport to be an exhaustive, scientifically detailed review of the field, it highlights the vast array of opportunities driving research progress.
For more information and to download the entire white paper read more here or visit LBDA.org.
About Lewy Body Dementia Association
The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of Lewy body dementias (LBD). Because of its complexity, LBD dramatically affects both the person diagnosed and their primary, family caregiver. A national health organization, LBDA supports all those affected by Lewy body dementias through outreach, education, and research.
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SOURCE Lewy Body Dementia Association