Advanced imaging and biomarkers in Lewy body diseases

In the Lewy body dementia research and innovation lab we investigate and apply novel neuroimaging and data-processing methods to better understand the onset and progression of Lewy body dementia (LBD).
As a neurodegenerative disease LBD attacks the brain in multiple ways including for example affecting how brain cells talk to each other, changes in chemical levels important for brain function and ultimately brain cell death. At early disease stages, however, our brain is able to cope with the degeneration thanks to its massive, well-connected and resilient neural networks, which are able to reconnect and adapt themselves. This means that brains in the early stages of neurodegeneration are able to cope and people have no signs of dementia or only minimal problems. Eventually however, these compensatory changes can no longer cope and dementia ensues.

By using advanced imaging methods, we are able to study the changes in the brain, functionally and structurally, due the presence of LBD and the processes that our brain use to compensate. This research helps 1) to find new biomarkers for early diagnosis of LBD and 2) to develop new strategies for patient care and treatment by enhancing the compensation mechanisms.

Neuroimaging modalities researched in our laboratory are: structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and functional MRI (fMRI).

Lewy body dementia neuroimaging