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Research Fellows Directory

Dag Aarsland

Professor Dag Aarsland

Research Fellow


King's College London

Research summary

During the last year we have studied and published in a variety of different areas within the field of dementia, with a particular focus on patients with dementia with Lewy bodies. Our clinical studies have shown that these patients have a poorer prognosis compared to patients with Alzheimer’s disease. We have also explored and identified useful biomarkers, both for the diagnosis (EEG) and prognosis (cerebrospinal fluid). A particular area of interest is the study of synaptic changes in age-related brain diseases, and we have published data showing that key synaptic proteins, which are markers of synaptic integrity, are reduced in the dementias. Preliminary data using more sophisticated analyses have supported these findings. We have also studied the use of drugs, with a particular focus on psychotropic drugs. We found that in Norway, few dementia patients receive dangerous combinations of drugs, but relatively many are prescribed psychotropics. In contrast to previous studies, we could not confirm that antipsychotics use is associated with a shorter survival, and even found that dementia patients who were treated with antidepressants have a longer survival than those not treated with antidepressants.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Lewy body dementias: Biomarkers and underlying mechanisms

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: May 2016 - Apr 2021

Value: £90,000