CamEL Project – improving the diagnosis of early Lewy body disease
Principal Investigator: Dr Gemma Roberts
Full title: Improving the Interpretation of Cardiac Sympathetic Imaging with MIBG for More Accurate Diagnosis of Early Lewy Body Disease
Did you know that a heart scan can be used to diagnose dementia with Lewy bodies? The scan uses a radioactive tracer called MIBG, which shows how well the heart nerves are working. MIBG is a substance similar to natural adrenaline, except that it has been made radioactive.
People with dementia with Lewy bodies have reduced signal from the heart on the scan. We think this is because their heart nerves have been damaged by the disease, but this is not well understood, as it is not possible to look at the nerves directly while people are alive.
This project will examine heart tissue donated by patients after death. These tissue samples will be bathed in MIBG and scanned. The team will then compare these scans with microscope images showing where the nerves really are.
We hope that the microscope images will match up well with the scans, providing evidence for a strong link between MIBG signal and the amount of working nerves, and therefore evidence that the nerves in the heart can give a good indication of dementia with Lewy bodies.