The Italian dementia with Lewy bodies study group (DLB-SINdem): toward a standardization of clinical procedures and multicenter cohort studies design

Laura Bonanni, Annachiara Cagnin, Federica Agosta, Claudio Babiloni, Barbara Borroni, Marco Bozzali, Amalia Cecilia Bruni, Massimo Filippi, Daniela Galimberti, Roberto Monastero, Cristina Muscio, Lucilla Parnetti, Daniela Perani, Laura Serra, Vincenzo Silani, Pietro Tiraboschi, Alessandro Padovani, on behalf of DLB-SINdem study group, Annamaria Confaloni, luana vaianella

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Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) causes elevated outlays for the National Health Systems due to high institutionalization rate and patients' reduced quality of life and high mortality. Furthermore, DLB is often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's disease. These data motivate harmonized multicenter longitudinal cohort studies to improve clinical management and therapy monitoring. The Italian DLB study group of the Italian Neurological Society for dementia (SINdem) developed and emailed a semi-structured questionnaire to 572 national dementia centers (from primary to tertiary) to prepare an Italian large longitudinal cohort. The questionnaire surveyed: (1) prevalence and incidence of DLB; (2) clinical assessment; (3) relevance and availability of diagnostic tools; (4) pharmacological management of cognitive, motor, and behavioural disturbances; (5) causes of hospitalization, with specific focus on delirium and its treatment. Overall, 135 centers (23.6 %) contributed to the survey. Overall, 5624 patients with DLB are currently followed by the 135 centers in a year (2042 of them are new patients). The percentage of DLB patients was lower (27 ± 8 %) than that of Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia (56 ± 27 %) patients. The majority of the centers (91 %) considered the clinical and neuropsychological assessments as the most relevant procedure for a DLB diagnosis. Nonetheless, most of the centers has availability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; 95 %), electroencephalography (EEG; 93 %), and FP-CIT single photon emission-computerized tomography (SPECT; 75 %) scan for clinical applications. It will be, therefore, possible to recruit a large harmonized Italian cohort of DLB patients for future cross-sectional and longitudinal multicenter studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • dementia
  • LBD


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