Newswise — Publix has announced that the chair and president of Publix Super Markets Charities has stepped down from the Publix Board of Directors due to her recent diagnosis of younger onset Alzheimer’s disease.
James E. Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., one of the most prominent neuroscientists in the country, is at the helm of cutting-edge research, screening methods and clinical care for all forms of dementia and cognitive impairments as well as neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. He is a professor of clinical biomedical science in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and a professor in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. He also serves as the associate dean for clinical research in the Schmidt College of Medicine and medical director of the Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center at FAU. Galvin has led efforts to develop a number of dementia screening tools, including the Quick Dementia Rating System (QDRS), AD8, a brief informant interview to translate research findings to community settings. He has done cross-cultural validation of dementia screening methods in comparison with Gold Standard clinical evaluations and biomarker assays. His team also has developed sophisticated statistical models to explore transition points in clinical, cognitive, functional, behavioral and biological markers of disease in healthy aging, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Galvin also is one of the leading international experts on “Lewy Body disease” (LBD) where patients simultaneously experience losses in cognitive function, mobility and behavior. LBD is the second-most-common degenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. LBD affects more than 1.3 million Americans, but is poorly recognized and diagnosis is often significantly delayed. Former celebrity Robin Williams also had this form of dementia, which can cause visual hallucinations and make depression worse. Galvin has been working to improve clinical detections by combining biomarkers including high density EEG, functional and structural MRI, PET scans and CSF biomarkers to characterize and differentiate LBD from healthy aging and other neurodegenerative diseases. 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. With this important tool, a clinician can assess whether the patient has bradykinesia, rigidity, postural instability, or rest tremor without having to grade each extremity. This simple, one-page survey provides structured yes/no questions for six non-motor features that are present in patients with LBD, but are much less commonly found in other forms of dementia. He is a member of the Clinical Neuroscience and Neurodegenerative Study Section of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has generated millions of dollars in research funding from the NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alzheimer’s Association, Michael J. Fox Foundation, local and state departments of health and private foundations.