Dementia Research Centre


Parkinson's Disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Research into Parkinson's Disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) by Dr Rimona Weil's team

Get involved

We are currently recruiting participants for our research into Parkinson's Disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. If you are interested in participating, please contact Rohan Bhome at rohan.bhome@ucl.ac.uk or Ivelina Dobreva at ivelina.dobreva.20@ucl.ac.uk.

Our work

We aim to shed light on how Parkinson’s Disease can affect thinking and memory.  Our ultimate goal is to develop treatments to slow the progression of dementia in Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson’s is usually thought of as a disease affecting movement, but it can also cause problems with thinking and memory. It affects people in different ways, making it difficult to predict what will happen to an individual. We have developed sensitive visual tests for people with Parkinson’s Disease to detect whether the thinking parts of the brain are involved.

Our group uses these sensitive visual tests, combined with brain imaging and retinal imaging to understand how cognition is affected in Parkinson’s disease.  We also use these tools to understand the related disease, Dementia with Lewy Bodies.


Our work is funded by the Wellcome Trust.  We are also supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and by the British Medical Association.

Our research

Using visual dysfunction to understand Parkinson’s disease
Patients with Parkinson’s that develop visuo-perceptual problems are at highest risk of dementia.  We are carrying out a longitudinal neuroimaging study to test with visual dysfunction is associated with changes in grey matter atrophy in people with Parkinson’s disease. We are also carrying out a large-scale web-based study to examine whether these differences in visual performance may have underlying genetic determinants.

Lewy body dementia
Parkinson’s disease dementia and Dementia with Lewy bodies are together known as Lewy body dementia. We are using brain imaging and measures of proteins in the blood to try to understand these diseases better. We aim to find markers of disease activity so that clinical trials can be designed more efficiently.

Hallucinations in Parkinson’s disease
Visual hallucinations are commonly seen in people with Parkinson’s and they can become distressing. But the underlying mechanisms are not well understood.  We are using a combination of visual measures and neuroimaging to understand the brain changes that underpin hallucinations in Parkinson’s disease.

Our team

  • Dr Rimona Weil – Clinician Scientist and Honorary Consultant Neurologist
  • Dr Angelika Zarkali – Clinical Fellow and PhD student
  • Dr Rohan Bhome Clinical Research Fellow
  • George Thomas – PhD Student
  • Hanna Haid – Research Assistant
  • Naomi Hannaway – Research Assistant
  • Ivelina Dobreva – Research Assistant