International Lewy Body Dementia Conference Comes to Las Vegas in June

Global experts share latest science, gather with patients and caregivers

Las Vegas will be ground zero for the Lewy body dementia (LBD) community early this summer, as Cleveland Clinic presents the 2019 installment of the International Lewy Body Dementia Conference at Caesars Palace from Monday, June 24, through Wednesday, June 26.

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“This event is an opportunity for everyone with a stake in Lewy body dementia — research scientists, clinicians, and patients and their caregivers — to come together to interact and learn the latest on this disease, which is the second most common form of neurodegenerative dementia in the elderly,” says conference director James Leverenz, MD, Director of the Cleveland site of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

The conference, which is endorsed by the Lewy Body Dementia Association, will serve these diverse constituencies through dual tracks — a CME-certified scientific track for researchers and clinicians along with a separate patient and caregiver track, with several sessions offered jointly across both tracks.

Scientific track at a glance

The three-day scientific track opens with a full day of presentation-based sessions on the essentials of LBD management and research:

  • An update on diagnostic criteria, clinical and cognitive characteristics, imaging, genetics and neuropathology
  • An exploration of prodromal dementia with Lewy bodies
  • A review of cognitive and noncognitive therapeutics, including the current state and pipeline

On the second day, the scientific track is devoted to sessions focused on new research findings in areas including clinical characteristics, imaging and biomarkers.

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The third day opens with two sessions focused on new research on the genetics, risk factors, pathology and biology of the Lewy body diseases. It continues with two sessions highlighting activities of research consortia from Asia, Europe, South America and the U.S., and then ends with a lively debate over controversies in the field.

A faculty of global experts

Faculty will include leading experts in LBD from across the nation and the world. The conference’s scientific planning committee alone includes expert clinicians and scientists from leading U.S. and international institutions. In addition to Dr. Leverenz, the committee consists of:

  • Zoltan Mari, MD, and Marwan Sabbagh, MD, both from the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas
  • Bradley Boeve, MD, and Kejal Kantarci, MD, from Mayo Clinic
  • Ian McKeith, FRSB, FMedSci, from Newcastle University in the U.K.
  • Debby Tsuang, MD, MSc, from the VA Puget Sound Health Care System (GRECC)
  • Angela Taylor of the Lewy Body Dementia Association

Conference planners took care to target scientific track content for relevance to selected providers beyond neurology, with extensive exploration of issues such as neuropsychological and neuroimaging assessment in LBD. Additionally, geriatricians and primary care providers will be served by discussion of identifying the nuanced differences between LBD and other forms of dementia.

Helping to build the LBD community

The two-day patient and family track features in-depth but layperson-friendly explorations of the science behind LBD, diagnosis and management considerations, evidence-based therapies and what it means to take part in a research study. Additionally, panel discussions dive into the experience of living with LBD and reasons for hope.

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The planning committee for the patient and caregiver track includes Christopher Zalewski (committee director), Madison Connelly and Anna Sturtevant, all of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Cleveland; Ruth Almen, Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Las Vegas; Ashley Bayston, Lewy Body Society, U.K.; Don Kent, a person diagnosed with LBD, and Cynthia Stevens Kent, his care partner; Angela Lunde, Mayo Clinic; and Angela Taylor, Lewy Body Dementia Association.

“The International Lewy Body Dementia Conference is a distinctive event in that it brings together the researchers and healthcare professionals working on this disease with the patients and family members that we are serving,” observes Dr. Leverenz, who serves as principal investigator for a National Institutes of Health-funded multicenter U.S. research consortium for dementia with Lewy bodies (detailed here). “This affords great opportunities for discussion and cooperation, and it serves to keenly and poignantly remind clinicians and researchers of what’s at stake in our work in this field.”

For full details and updates on the course, as well as to register, visit ccfcme.org/ILBDC19. Preregistrations are accepted until June 21, after which attendees can register on site.

This activity is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.