Dr. Daniel Burdick from the Evergreen Hospital Medical Center in Kirkland, Washingon, joins Suzanne Newman to talk about a type of dementia that’s rarely discussed at Answers for Elders. Dr. Burdick is a physician’s investigator trained in movement and neuro-psychiatric disorders.
Lewy body dementia encompasses two separate disorders: Parkinson’s dementia and Dementia with Lewy Bodies, which are very similar. They’re different from other forms of dementia in that they come with motor symptoms like tremors, slowness, stiffness, and trouble moving, and commonly include hallucinations and delusions. The distinction between the two is the timing of symptoms. In Parkinson’s disease dementia, the motor symptoms happen first. In Dementia with Lewy Bodies, the dementia happens first, or within the first year.
Being part of a clinical trial is an important way to participate in developing treatments for these diseases. Everyone participating is looking for better treatments. We have treatments that help with symptoms, but we’re lacking in treatments to slow progression. One of the best ways to make your future better if you have it, if you want to be proactive with the disease, is to volunteer in a clinical trial. It’s important to know if these treatments actually work the way we hope they do, and because we want to make sure we’re giving safe, effective treatments for our patients, and that’s how to get them approved for use.
The shape trial studies a specific treatment for Lewy body dementia. It’s being studied in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington, To learn more and sign up for this trial, go to https://shapetrial.com/. If you’re in the Seattle area, you can also sign up at Evergreen Hospital Medical Center in Kirkland. Courtesy of Athira Pharma.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by a Thera Farma and answers for elders radio. And welcome everyone to answers for elders radio network. And it’s amazing. It’s we are in the month of May, in the spring, and the Pacific northwest where we were broadcasting from. And also we’re going to talk about a topic today that we probably haven’t done much of. Am I I know that right now there’s there’s an issue out there with a you know, you hear about dementia, but you may hear about Alzheimer’s. You may hear about vascular dementia, but there’s a whole other type of dementia that we really haven’t delved into, and so we were very honored today to have Dr Daniel Burdick from Evergreen Hospital Medical Center here in the Pacific Northwest, and he’s a physician’s investigator who has been trained in movement disorders and new neuropsychiatric disorders. And basically we’re going to talk about Louis Body Dementia Today and Dr Burdick, welcome to answers for elders. I’m so glad you’re here. Well, thank you to then. I’m happy to be here. Well, I’m glad you’re here too, because you know, we hear about Louid body dementia, and I but I would venture to say that ninety nine percent of the world doesn’t really know what it is or what’s distinguishes it from other forms of dementia. So before we even get started, Dr would you mind kind of giving us an overview of what it is? Sure? So Louis Body Disease and compasses two different disorders, both Parkinson’s cities dementia and dementia with Louis Body. Uh Huh. In fact they’re they’re very similar disorders. Both, if involve multiple systems in the brain. So they’re distinct from other forms of dementia because they come with what we call motor symptoms. So motor symptoms include things like difficulty moving, tremor, lowness, stiffness, and they also come with much more commonly, particularly more commonly earlier in the course of the disease. They include hallucinations and delusion, which are very difficult, difficult symptoms. So that’s I’d say that the main clinical features that distinguish the Louis body dimensions from, say, alzheimrus disease or vascular dimensions. You know, it’s interesting because I think the first thing we may think of is like Robin Williams had was just diagnosed with Louis Body dementia. But what I do know about out as much about Louie Dumont Body Dementia, which I hopefully going to learn a lot more in this hour with you. But I I know that there’s a big relation to it with Parkinson’s disease, that it kind of sometimes goes, not always, but sometimes goes hand in hand. Is it? Is it the escalation of Parkinson’s often that causes it, or is it just something that just is common that shows up? Do you know that? When I guess, am I framing the question correctly? Yes, yes, you’re framing a very common question and a very common misunderstanding about about the disease. So let me set from the beginning. So really they’re two separate disorders, at least the way they’ve classically been defined. Mention with Louis bodies and Parkinson’s disease right. However, they both have these Louis bodies. Louis bodies are a a feature that’s seen on autopsy. Frankly, like when they look at the brains of people who have had these diseases. They see inside the brain cells these little spears that they gave the name Louis bodies to. Wow. So they’re really they’re defined as two distinct disorders, but they’re so similar that a lot of people, including the movement disorder society, considers them like one disease on a spectrum of Louis Body Diseases. Uh Huh. The only way that we make the distinction between Parkinson’s disease dementia and dementia with Louis bodies based on timing of symptoms. So I mentioned that both mentioned both have motor symptoms like the stiffness, load tremor in Perkinson’s disease dementia. Those motor symptoms happen first. Right, dementia may develop later. To find a dementia with Louis bodies if the dementia happens first or within the first year after developing those motor symptoms. So so that’s the only distinction between the two really is the timing of these different interesting. So obviously our listeners know that we work with we have this amazing relationship with Athera Farma and a Thera for all of our listeners that may have not heard of you. They are host giving us the opportunity host, you know, medical experts like yourself, and certainly one of the things that we’re very excited about is to help kind of be that bridge to bring people into clinical trials, and that’s basically to learn a lot about what is it, you know, being involved in kind of the cutting edge of treatments that are out there, and you kind of are like the North Star here in the Pacific northwest on Louis Body trials. Would you kind of explain to us what does that mean to be a part of a trial? Sure so, being part of a clinical trial is is a really important way to participate in developing treatments for these diseases. Fundamentally, you know, we’re all everybody in the field, whether physician or nurse, or patient or family member, everybody is looking for better treatments for these diseases, Parkinson’s dementia and dementia with Louie bodies. You know, we do have treatments that can help with the symptoms right now, but what we particularly are lacking is treatments that proven to affect the disease progression, like how F fast it gets worse. And so a lot of times people will come to me and ask, you know, I want to be proactive with my disease and my Parkinson’s or my dimensional Louis bodies and how can I make sure that my future is as good as possible? How can I slow down the rate of progression? And, like I say, it’s really important to take medications that’s prescribed, that we have. It’s importance to exercise regularly. That helps with the rate of progression. But one of the best ways you can make your own future with these diseases better is by participating in clinical trials, right because it’s only by having volunteers who are willing to donate their time to these efforts that we can develop these treatments. It’s really important to know if these treatments actually work the way we hope they do, and you know, both because we want to make sure we’re giving effective and safe treatments to our patients and also practically, because that’s the only way to get them approved for you. Well, in the thing that I love about being a part of a clinical trial is is that you know right now, in many cases, like Alzheimer’s and dementia related, you know, conditions. You know the prognosis is not great. So when you when you look at these are breakthroughs that are seeing, promise and results, which I am just blown away every time I talk to somebody like you, because it really makes me realize that there is going to be a cure someday by what they’re discovering and the things that are happening. And it’s like, I know that I was in a meeting not too long ago with a circle of people and with Josh Pan who’s with a theory Farma, and somebody asked around the table, do you really think that there’s going to be a cure someday, and I loved what he had to say. He said absolutely, and there was Nike, no hesitation, no anything. And I thought to myself, you know, this is where, when I heard Josh say this, it was like, you know, yes, we all want to be optimistic, but you know, sometimes we forget just how far we’ve come and how many things are happening out there that show promise. And to be involved in a trial like this, you know, conceivably you could be the first one, you know, first individual to be fully cured of something that never has been. You know, all of the things are or prospect you know, prolong your life that much longer. And and so that’s why we’re very excited to be involved. And and of course at medic at Evergreen Medical Center, you guys do a clinical trial for Louis Body dementia. Tell me a little bit about what your trial is involved what you do with it. Yeah, well, so we are working with a Thera, as you mentioned, on this trial. It’s called the shape trial, the study of a new medication fast Ganema. Ton. That that yeah, I think you’re right. I think it’s a lot of optimism that this will at least help improve the rate of progression of these diseases. Right animal studies that have come before the human studies, it’s shown to reduced inflammation in the brain. It’s shown to help create new connection the process called SYNAPTA genesis. HMM. It’s connections between the brain cells that can help them function better and helps promote the survival of the remaining neurons brain cell here. And so I think there there’s only has a lot of a lot of hope and we’re very excited to be working with a thera on this on this study. Yeah, I think it has to be said that we when you participate in a clinical trial. I tell this to anybody who’s interested in participating. You participate in a trial, we don’t know entirely for sure what the effect will be, whether you’ll have benefit right the trial. It’s but it’s a really important way of getting to those eventual answers, right, of finding those that really do help make a difference. So I think, yeah, you said it well well and and certainly in in participating is something like this, there’s so many new insights that can be improved over time just by, you know, even if you’re on a trial for six months or whatever, you might have some nalge you know, breakthroughs in that early six month period that might make your treatment going forward even that much more positive based on what we find. So you may even though you may not be a part of that trial. I mean I think that’s one of the things that’s really exciting, is that it will always do you good in the beginning because there’s things that are happening and I think there’s a lot more attention that’s played paid to you by being a part of that and there’s a lot of things. So, Dr Burdick, how do we reach you? How does somebody sign up for your trial? Yeah, we’d be happy to talk to people who are interested. I think the best option is to go to our website. There two UPDITE can go to the trial itself has a website called wwwot shape trial, as age ape t our I alcom and you can also reach us at Evergreen healthcom flash research. That is fabulous and Dr Burdock and I we are going to be with you this hour. We’re going to talk about Louis Body Dementia, we’re going to talk about the you know, the approaches to treat Parkinson’s disease dementia and talking about, you know, rebuilding brain networks, which is it. This is a fascinating topic and I’m looking forward to spending time with you the rest of this hour and Dr Burdock and I will be right back right after this. The preceding podcast was provided by a Thera farmer and answers for elders radio. For more information about the Alzheimer’s clinical trial, go to a thera clinical trialscom
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Originally published May 15, 2022