Diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies with a simple blood test

Katrin Beyer


    Katrin Beyer


    Instituto de Investigación Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP), Spain


    In the project “Blood miRNAs as diagnostic tool for dementia with Lewy bodies,” markers for the clinical and differential diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) will be validated.

    DLB is after Alzheimer Disease (AD) the most frequent cause of dementia representing an increasing health problem. Due to pathological and clinical overlap with AD, DLB is difficult to diagnose with misdiagnosis rates up to 80 %.

    Misdiagnosed DLB patients receive erroneous treatment, often showing adverse reactions. Prevalence of degenerative dementia is about 10 % for an aged population over 60 years. This prevalence even increases with age and shows especially elevated rates in developing countries. In 2015, about 20 % of the Spanish population was older than 65 years, meaning that about 80,000 individuals will develop dementia each year with potential application of the project’s diagnostic test. Whereas the number of deaths caused by diseases like HIV, stroke, heart disease and prostate cancer has diminished over the last ten years, the number of deaths caused by degenerative dementias is significantly increasing.

    Therefore, a precise diagnosis will be necessary to guarantee appropriate treatments from the very beginning of the disease. Only early detection will help to slow down disease progression and to revert it in the future. The specific objectives of the project are to validate the data in an independent cohort and to develop a prototype of the diagnostic test.