At UW Medicine, a New Research Center of Excellence for Lewy Body Dementia

April 25, 2018

Science Updates, Care & Treatment , News

This spring, a network of 24 medical research centers, including the UW Memory and Brain Wellness Center, formed to enhance research and outreach efforts around Lewy Body dementia. The Lewy Body Dementia Association’s Research Centers of Excellence (RCOE) comprise the first-ever comprehensive network of research centers to conduct Lewy Body dementia (LBD) clinical trials, provide community outreach, and expand professional continuing medical education.

Comedian Robin Williams was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia after his suicide in 2014, bringing public awareness to the disorder – the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. The condition is caused by protein deposits of alpha-synuclein in brain regions involved in thinking, movement, behavior, and mood.

The Lewy Body Dementia Association’s Research Centers of Excellence will help to streamline and standardize Lewy Body dementia science and clinical trial research standards, while connecting patients and families with the latest opportunities to participate in clinical trials and find advanced diagnosis and treatment. The network connects many experienced physicians and respected institutions that are committed to providing advanced Lewy Body dementia care, community outreach, and support.

Kimiko Domoto-Reilly

Kimiko Domoto-Reilly, MD, assistant professor of neurology at the UW School of Medicine and a neurologist at the Memory and Brain Wellness Center, will lead the Lewy Body Center of Excellence at the University of Washington. She has expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with atypical dementias, including Parkinson’s disease syndromes and frontotemporal degeneration spectrum disorders. Her research focuses on multimodal biomarkers. Dr. Domoto-Reilly is the site principal investigator for the national Frontotemporal Degeneration Consortium, supporting the UW Memory and Brain Wellness Center/ADRC in its growing focus on atypical dementias.

The UW Memory and Brain Wellness Center encompasses all of the clinical and research opportunities for people with Lewy Body dementia at the UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, and the VA Puget Sound Health Care Center.

Debby Tsuang, MD, professor of psychiatry at the UW School of Medicine, runs the Dementia with Lewy Body Consortium Study site at the VA Puget Sound Health Care Center/UW, one of the nine participating clinical centers. This study will collect clinical information, brain scans, and biological samples from people that have dementia with Lewy bodies. This information will help researchers to discover new biomarkers for Lewy Body dementia and improve diagnosis and treatment. To learn about participation, please visit the Biomarkers in LBD, a clinical study by the DLB Consortium