FAU Named Lewy Body Dementia 'Research Center of Excellence'

Lewy Body Dementia, James Galvin, M.D., Lewy Body Dementia Association, Center of Excellence

James E. Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., is 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.

By gisele galoustian | 4/4/2018

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 healthybrain@health.fau.edu or visit http://med.fau.edu/ccbh/.