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Related Specialty: Neurology

Lewy body disease (LBD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with intra-neuronal accumulation of alpha-synuclein. LBD develops parkinsonism and/or dementia: motor symptoms precede dementia in Parkinson’s disease (PD), while cognitive decline is predominant in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

Prodromal symptoms antecede the onset of motor or cognitive dysfunction, indicating an extended prodromal period in LBD. For example, autonomic impairment, such as constipation, develops 15–20 years before the onset. REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) precedes the motor symptom onset by several years in patients with PD. In fact, most patients with RBD later develop PD, DLB, or multiple system atrophy (MSA), all of which are associated with the alpha-synuclein pathology, suggesting that the protein accumulation underlies the pathogenesis of RBD. Moreover, hyposmia, excessive daytime sleepiness, and depression could herald motor symptoms.

In this project, we aim to identify subjects at risk of LBD by analyzing the data of questionnaires on prodromal symptoms and imaging such as Dat scan and MIBG scintigraphy in examinees of health check-up. We also investigate body fluid samples of the at risk individuals to develop biomarker for an early stage LBD.

Project Leader


Participating Investigators

  • Bologna (Unibo):      

  • LMU Munich:

  • Monash:

Pietro Cortelli

Federica Provini


Marianne Dieterich

Johannes Levin

Dominic Thyagarajan

Kelly Bertram



Disease ​ 


International collaboration


at risk cohort of Lewy body disease

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