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LBD: Develop biomarkers to detect disease prior to symptom onset (Milestone 9.J)

In Progress

Timeline Start - End

2016 - 2027

Research Implementation Area


AD-Related Dementias Focus

Expand existing and develop new longitudinal LBD study cohorts, including diverse populations, from pre-symptomatic disease to autopsy to support diagnostic, epidemiologic, and therapeutic studies.  

Success Criteria

  • Increase the number of people enrolled in research cohorts that investigate LBD from pre-symptomatic LBD through autopsy. This research will be powered to answer key questions in at least 2 populations that experience health disparities.
  • Create and apply criteria to ensure that longitudinal LBD cohort studies collect and share de-identified, standardized data. 

Summary of Key Accomplishments

In 2020, NIH-funded investigators helped lead an international consensus effort to define research criteria for diagnosing prodromal dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), which will help to advance standardization of early LBD biomarkers. For example, several funded awards are evaluating a biomarker test that uses a simple skin biopsy to detect abnormal LBD-associated alpha-synuclein clumps in individuals with LBD and with prodromal LBD.

NIA and NINDS jointly funded the North American Prodromal Synucleinopathy Consortium for REM Sleep Behavior Disorder which is collecting longitudinal clinical, neuroimaging and biospecimen data on over 300 individuals with REM sleep behavior disorder, an important prodromal risk factor for the development of LBD.

The Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program (PDBP) and the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC) continue to enroll individuals with LBD using a similar standard clinical assessment protocol designed specifically for this group that over 50 participating sites are required to use; all data is shared with interested researchers.

The key accomplishments summary is current as of July 2022.  

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