Press release: A million pound effort to tackle Lewy body dementia

The Lewy Body Society, a charity dedicated to tackling the second most common form of dementia, has announced the latest recipients of its grants programme. The charity is awarding three grants totalling £314,000 for projects at the University of Cambridge, Newcastle University and Imperial College London. These grants take the total research funding issued by the charity to over £1 million, since it supported its first PhD student in 2007.

All of the charity’s funding is received from voluntary donations and earned income, and it receives no statutory funding.

The Lewy Body Society is now seeking applications for its next round of funding. The charity will consider any application that is relevant to Lewy body dementia, and applicants from UK institutions can apply for project funding, or to fund PhDs or fellowships. In this funding round, the society has up to £500,000 to allocate and will aim to fund 2 – 5 projects.

Jacqueline Cannon, Chief Executive of the Lewy Body Society, said:

“Most of our funding comes from people directly affected by Lewy body dementia, through fundraising events, funeral donations and buying Christmas cards and badges.  We would like to thank every single one of them, as they are making a real difference to improving the awareness and understanding of this difficult disease.

“Lewy body dementia is the second most common form of dementia among older people, affecting around 130,000 people each year. Yet it is not well known and our clinical understanding of the disease is less developed than that of other conditions. 

“Through our grants programme we are working with dedicated experts across the country who are striving to find better ways to identify and treat the disease in future. We would like to encourage any researchers who may be interested in applying for a grant to get in touch.”


Further information

The Lewy Body Society is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities.

The process for awarding grants is run independently by a Specialist Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr Jill Rasmussen and comprised of a panel of experts. Each grant application is considered by the panel and reviewed by independent experts.

For information on the 2019 Grant Round visit The deadline for applications is 31st May 2019.

Brief descriptions of the successful projects and the aims of the studies is as follows. Click on the links for a fuller description.

  1. Drug Repurposing for Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge

Aim of the study: To identify any existing drugs used for other diseases which might be ‘repurposed’ to treat dementia with Lewy bodies, so that new trials for these compounds can be undertaken.

  1. Developing biomechanical methods to detect dementia with Lewy bodies

Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University and University of the Highlands and Islands

Aim of the study – This study aims to design a cerebrospinal fluid test to help diagnose dementia with Lewy bodies.

  1. An investigation of Brainstem Nuclei in Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia

Division of Brain Sciences, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London

 Aim of the study: To examine brain tissue from patients with dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s disease dementia, and Parkinson’s without dementia, to identify differences in brain cell degeneration. This will inform the development of more tailored treatment options which can target different areas depending on the condition.