Dr. Jay Amin recently completed his PhD with MARC. Upon completing his viva, he was then appointed as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry of Older Age for the University of Southampton. He continues to work as an honorary consultant in Older People's Mental Health for Southern Health NHS Trust and finds a day a week to work with us at MARC as the Principal investigator on our pharmaceutical trial for people with Dementia with Lewy Bodies (click here to find out more about our current trials).
We, at MARC, want to send a huge congratulations to Jay on completing his PhD!
So what did he find out with his PhD?
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) accounts for about one in twenty cases of dementia. It has many similarities to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) but people with the disease often have disturbing hallucinations and a variable memory state. These symptoms make DLB very hard to diagnose and distinguish from the confusion that some elderly people experience when they have an infection.
We still know very little about why people get Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and even less about the causes of Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB). We wanted to find out whether changes in the immune system were a feature of DLB, as we know to be the case in AD.
95 people volunteered to take part in this study, called SILAD. The study was led by Dr Jay Amin at the Memory Assessment and Research Centre in Southampton, and funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK with support from the Lewy Body Society. Each participant undertook questionnaires along with a close family member. Blood samples were taken to look at cells and chemicals of the immune system, to see if they were different in people with DLB compared with people with AD and people without dementia.
Our results showed that markers of the immune system in the blood of people with DLB were indeed very different to what was found in people with AD and people without dementia. This has improved our knowledge about the profile of the immune system in DLB, which has implications for future research including whether anti-inflammatory drugs should be trialled in DLB.
This is a very exciting finding and may expand the scope of research into Dementia with Lewy Bodies. We very much look forward to Jay’s upcoming papers, and seeing how his research can progress.