Newswise — The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) named Florida Atlantic University as a LBDA Research Center of Excellence (RCOE), a nationwide collaboration of 24 pre-eminent academic medical research centers. The LBDA is the leading advocacy group dedicated to raising awareness and advancing research about Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), which affects 1.4 million Americans and their families, making it one of the most common forms of dementia.
The centers were selected for their clinical expertise in LBD, experience running clinical trials, capacity of facilities and geographic location (combined, the 33 principal investigators have run 380 clinical trials in the past five years).
FAU’s LBDA Research Center of Excellence housed in the Comprehensive Center for Brain Health is spearheaded by James E. Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., a world-renowned neuroscientist, a leading international expert on LBD and Alzheimer’s disease and associate dean for clinical research in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.
“It is a privilege to be designated a Research Center of Excellence by the Lewy Body Dementia Association and to join forces with our academic and medical partners across the nation,” said Galvin. “Our Comprehensive Center for Brain Health provides cutting-edge personalized care for a number of neurodegenerative diseases and we will continue to provide the highest level of care for those affected by Lewy Body Dementia.”
Galvin is one of the leading international experts on LBD, the second-most common dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, where patients simultaneously experience losses in cognitive function, mobility and behavior. He developed the “Lewy Body Composite Risk Score” (LBCRS) to quickly and effectively diagnose LBD and Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) in about three minutes. The LBCRS is a brief rating scale that can be completed by a clinician to assess clinical signs and symptoms highly associated with the pathology of this disease.
Galvin also spearheaded the South Florida site for the HEADWAY-DLB, a phase 2b multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate an investigational medicine, RVT-101, for dementia with Lewy bodies. Although the results of this study were negative, it demonstrated the capacity of LBD patients to participate in clinical trials. Currently, there are no medications available to specifically treat LBD, and patients are typically treated with medications for Alzheimer’s.
“Dr. Galvin is at the forefront of clinical research on Lewy Body Dementia and other related dementias,” said Phillip Boiselle, M.D., dean of FAU’s College of Medicine. “Our designation as a Lewy Body Dementia Research Center of Excellence will help us to further our efforts locally and enable us to serve as a regional resource working in partnership with a national network of outstanding centers.”
The LBDA RCOE program will provide a centralized, coordinated research resource, supporting an expanded effort in conducting clinical trials related to LBD while helping to provide expert clinical care for patients, families and caregivers. The LBDA RCOE recently submitted a grant to the National Institutes of Health for a new clinical trial with Galvin as one of the co-investigators.
LBDA's RCOE program aims to establish a clinical trials-ready network of leading institutions that share the common vision of providing the highest level of clinical care over the course of LBD treatment. In addition, the RCOE network seeks to increase access to support for caregivers and people living with LBD, increase the knowledge of LBD among the medical community and construct administrative infrastructure and generate the resources necessary to further advance LBD research and care.
The Comprehensive Center for Brain Health is located on the main FAU campus in Boca Raton, 777 Glades Road, ME-104, first floor. Office visits are by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call 561-297-0164, email [email protected] or visit http://med.fau.edu/ccbh/.
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About the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine:
FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine is one of approximately 150 accredited medical schools in the U.S. The college was launched in 2010, when the Florida Board of Governors made a landmark decision authorizing FAU to award the M.D. degree. After receiving approval from the Florida legislature and the governor, it became the 134th allopathic medical school in North America. With more than 70 full and part-time faculty and more than 1,300 affiliate faculty, the college matriculates 64 medical students each year and has been nationally recognized for its innovative curriculum. To further FAU’s commitment to increase much needed medical residency positions in Palm Beach County and to ensure that the region will continue to have an adequate and well-trained physician workforce, the FAU Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine Consortium for Graduate Medical Education (GME) was formed in fall 2011 with five leading hospitals in Palm Beach County. In June 2014, FAU’s College of Medicine welcomed its inaugural class of 36 residents in its first University-sponsored residency in internal medicine and graduated its first class of internal medicine residents in 2017.
About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.