Cleveland Clinic will host the International Lewy Body Dementia Conference, June 24-26, bringing together the world’s experts on the neurological disorder along with affected individuals, care partners and family members.
The International Lewy Body Dementia Conference, to be held at the Caesars Palace Conference Center in Las Vegas, is a forum for research scientists, clinicians and other health care professionals to share the latest scientific information. Additionally, the conference will provide an opportunity for affected individuals, care partners and families to gain new knowledge and interact with researchers, clinicians and other patients and care partners.
The conference will feature opening remarks by Susan Schneider Williams, wife of the late actor/comedian Robin Williams who had Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). The meeting will also include a private pre-screening of excerpts from a documentary about Robin Williams, highlighting the devastating effects of this disease on him, his family, friends and loved ones.
The second most common form of neurodegenerative dementia in the elderly, LBD is a progressive neurological disorder caused by a buildup of abnormal protein deposits, called “Lewy Bodies,” in brain cells. Because symptoms can closely resemble other more commonly known diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, it is currently widely underdiagnosed.
“Lewy Body Dementia is quite common in the elderly, but has no approved drugs to treat the disease,” says conference director James Leverenz, M.D., director of Cleveland site of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. “This event is an opportunity for everyone with a stake in Lewy Body Dementia – research scientists, clinicians, affected individuals and their care partners, and concerned community – to come together to interact and learn the latest on this disorder and work to make progress towards improved diagnosis and treatment.”
The conference, endorsed by the Lewy Body Dementia Association, will feature dual tracks – a CME-certified scientific track for researchers and clinicians along with a separate patient and caregiver track, with several sessions offered jointly across both.
Faculty will include leading experts in LBD from across the nation and the world. The three-day scientific track will feature an update on diagnostic criteria, overview of new research findings and a review of current therapeutics as well as those in the pipeline.
The two-day patient and caregiver track will offer educational sessions on diagnosis, symptom management and planning for the future as well as review the latest research advances and provide opportunities to interact directly with the scientific community. Additionally, panel discussions will dive into the experience of living with LBD and reasons for hope.
“The International Lewy Body Dementia Conference is unique in that it will unite the researchers and healthcare professionals working on this disease with the patients and family members that we are serving,” says Marwan Sabbagh, M.D., director of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Las Vegas. “With this parallel track, we will bring significant and much-needed visibility and awareness to the disease, in hopes of improving both diagnosis and treatment moving forward.”
Cleveland Clinic is a major research center in LBD. In 2017, the National Institute of Health awarded a $6 million grant to establish a national research consortium focused on developing biomarkers for Lewy body dementia. The Dementia with Lewy Bodies Consortium aims to create a national and coordinated registry for clinical, genetic and biomarker data on LBD.
The five-year grant, led by Dr. Leverenz, supports a 10 site multi-center study aimed at finding LBD biomarkers which can assist with diagnosis, detect disease progression, and ultimately measure response to treatment.
For full details and updates on the conference, as well as to register, visit ccfcme.org/ILBDC19. Pre-registrations are accepted until June 21, after which attendees can register on site.