Cholinergic ResponsE in Early lewy body Disease: The CREED study
Principal Investigator: Professor John-Paul Taylor
Developing new ways to understand how people with Lewy body dementia (LBD) might respond best to an existing treatment and to help with the development of new and better drugs which target the brain chemical system.
LBD includes Parkinson’s disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies and is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. People with LBD have problems with their thinking abilities and can experience hallucinations (e.g. seeing things that are not there) and delusions (false beliefs). These issues mean that caring for someone with LBD is challenging with care costs twice that of someone with Alzheimer’s.
Current treatments used in dementia boost chemicals in the brain and include drugs such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors which improve thinking abilities and help treat symptoms such as hallucinations. However, there are problems with these treatments: less than half of people with LBD show benefit, there is considerable variation in response between individuals, and there may be serious side effects. In particular, we don’t know whether these drugs work in earlier disease stages or can maintain an individual’s level of function for longer.
In this study we will work out why some people with early LBD respond to drug called donepezil which boosts a key neurochemical, acetylcholine in the brain. We will do this by using a wide variety of tests which we think can measure the effects of this drug including brain imaging, clinical questionnaires and stimulation techniques.
By developing markers of response to treatment, clinicians will be able to better understand which people with LBD might respond best to this existing treatment and more importantly help with the development of new and better drugs which target this brain chemical system.