The Lewy Body Study

Occurring Dates: 
19/07/2018 to 31/12/2023
Participant Duration: 
up to 3 years
State of study: 
Western Australia
Victoria
Overview: 

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a relatively common form of dementia in older age. People with DLB often have similar symptoms to people with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Lewy bodies are tiny deposits of alpha-synuclein (a protein) in the nerve cells of the brain. It is not known exactly what causes the abnormal build-up of these Lewy bodies in the brain. In order to find an effective treatment or cure in the future, we first need to understand the changes that occur in the body and brain of people with DLB.

This study will be the first Australian longitudinal cohort of 100 people, aged 50+ years, diagnosed with DLB. The eligibility criteria for the study is as follows:

  • Diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), OR Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) OR Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
  • Age 50+ years
  • MMSE score of greater than or equal to 14
  • No past history of drug or alcohol dependence
  • Able to complete cognitive testing in English
  • Able to undergo MRI scan
  • Have a close family member or caregiver who can provide collateral information

For the DLB participant group, there will be approximately 10 study visits over a 3 year period. At the baseline visits, participants will undergo clinical and cognitive (memory and thinking) tests, a blood test, PET scans, MRI Scan and an optional cerebrospinal fluid donation via lumbar puncture. Study participants will then be seen every 6 months for follow up clinical and cognitive assessments. PET and MRI scans will be repeated at 18 monthly intervals for up to 3 years.

For the PDD participant group, there will be approximately 8 study visits over a 3 year period. At the baseline visits, participants will undergo clinical and cognitive (memory and thinking) tests, a blood test, PET scans, MRI Scan and an optional cerebrospinal fluid donation via lumbar puncture. Study participants will then be seen every 6 months for follow up clinical and cognitive assessments.

For the AD participant group, there will be approximately 2 study visits over a 3 month period. At the baseline visits, participants will undergo clinical and cognitive (memory and thinking) tests, a blood test, an amyloid brain PET scan, MRI Scan and an optional cerebrospinal fluid donation via lumbar puncture.

Further Information: 

For further information or to register your interest in taking part, please contact the Project Manager, Lesley Vidaurre on (03) 9345 2177 or Vidaurre.l@wehi.edu.au.

For participants in Western Australia, please contact Study Coordinator, Varsha Hirani on (08) 9224 4522 or email Varsha.hirani@uwa.edu.au.

This project has been approved by the Melbourne Health Human Research Ethics Committee; reference number HREC/17/MH/89.

Study Address: 
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, 1G Royal Parade, Victoria 3052
Full Name: 
Lesley Vidaurre
Institute: 
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Email: 
Vidaurre.l@wehi.edu.au
Phone Number: 
(03) 9345 2177