Cleveland Clinic is taking a step towards understanding the causes of dementia and the ways to diagnose it by putting together a national research consortium. The multi-center study will be led by James Leverenz, the Managing Director of Cleveland Clinic. The National Institutes of Health has allocated US$6 mn worth grant for the study.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is a progressive neurological disease, which is the second leading form of neurodegenerative dementia in geriatrics. The disorder is caused due to the continual deposit of abnormal proteins, known as “Lewy Bodies,” in brain cells. There are nearly1.4 million people in the U.S. who are suffering from DLB and the associated Parkinson’s disease dementia. It remains widely undiagnosed due to the fact that it closely resembles other more commonly known diseases such as Parkinson’s diseases and Alzheimer’s.
Identifying Biomarkers for DLB to Remain Top Research Priority
The objective of the five-year program includes identifying biomarkers for DLB that can assist in diagnosing, detecting disease progression, and measuring response to treatment. The consortium will also be backed by the Lewy Body Dementia Association, which will fund an annual meeting of researchers to collaborate, share information, and discoveries.
The University of Pittsburgh, Thomas Jefferson University, Florida Atlantic University, University of California San Diego, Rush University, University of Pennsylvania, University of North Carolina, and VA Puget Sound Health Care Center/the University of Washington are also the members of the consortium. The research team will collaborate with the National Institute of Aging and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, which will be responsible for establishing biorepositories and data banks.