University of Cambridge > > Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series > Multi-modal neuroimaging biomarkers in dementia with Lewy bodies: An overview

Multi-modal neuroimaging biomarkers in dementia with Lewy bodies: An overview

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Abstract: Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the second leading cause of degenerative dementia after Alzheimer’s disease (AD), accounting for over 100,000 cases in the UK. While the cardinal features of DLB include cognitive fluctuations, spontaneous parkinsonism and REM sleep behavioural disorder and recurrent visual hallucinations, many people with DLB also have varying degrees of Alzheimer’s disease pathologies, such as amyloid plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles. Despite its prevalence, the diagnosis of DLB and consequently its treatment may be complicated due to the overlapping clinical symptoms between DLB , AD, and Parkinson’s disease with dementia. To this end, recent advances in neuroimaging could aid differential diagnosis and help delineate the underlying pathological mechanisms, and stratification of DLB patients on the basis of AD comorbidity. I will present an overview of deep-phenotyping multi-modal imaging studies in DLB at the Old Age Psychiatry Group, highlighting some of the key imaging findings: (a) patterns of grey matter atrophy from structural MRI , (b) neuroinflammation from [11C]-PK11195 PET imaging, (c) amyloid and tau deposition from [11C]-PiB and [18F]-AV1451 PET imaging, (d) and cross-modal relationships among biomarkers.

Biography: Dr Elijah Mak is a Junior Research Fellow, funded by the Alzheimer’s Society UK, and a former Gates Cambridge scholar. His fellowship aims to determine whether Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density imaging (NODDI) could detect cortical microstructure changes (i.e. dendritic arborisation) in dementia with Lewy bodies, and understand their associations with concomitant Alzheimer’s disease pathologies using PET imaging of amyloid and tau. His broader research interests are in the application of multi-modal neuroimaging biomarkers to unravel the complex landscape of disease-related changes in neurodegenerative conditions and preclinical dementia. Before his current position, he obtained his PhD on neuroimaging in Lewy body diseases at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, and completed a post-baccalaureate MRI Fellowship at the University of Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Centre, New York, and the National Neuroscience Institute, Singapore. For more information on Dr Mak, please visit:

This talk is part of the Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series series.

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