World-leading expertise in Lewy body dementia at CPFT

Honorary consultant psychiatrist Professor John O'Brien has been named the world's leading expert on dementia with Lewy bodies


World-leading expertise in Lewy body dementia at CPFT
12 June 2019

World leading expertise in dementia with Lewy bodies at CPFT

A global review has named CPFT doctor and researcher, Professor John O'Brien, as the world's leading expert on dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Out of 2,000 peer reviewed papers published since 2008 worldwide, John wrote or contributed to 86 papers on the condition.

England is the world’s top performing region in terms of expertise in dementia with Lewy bodies, according to the new data analysis published by Expertscape – a website which objectively ranks people and institutions by their expertise across more than 26,000 biomedical topics. The data also shows that worldwide, Cambridge is one of the top five cities contributing most into this disease area, topped by London and followed by Newcastle in second place.

Professor O’Brien delivers research with care as an honorary consultant old age psychiatrist at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and Professor of Old Age Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. He is the National Specialty Lead for Dementias at the National Institute for Health Research.

“Obviously I am delighted by this news, which reflects the hard work of study teams and collaborators in Newcastle and Cambridge with whom I have had the pleasure of working with over the last 10 years. The fact that my colleagues Clive Ballard (Exeter) and Dag Aarsland (King’s College London) also make up the top three, with England listed top country worldwide, is a testament to the real excellence of Lewy body dementia research here in the UK.

We will continue to build on this, and I am very grateful to all our funders, including NIHR who funded the recent DIAMOND-Lewy Programme, and to the NIHR Clinical Research Network’s Dementias and Neurodegeneration specialty – who play a pivotal role in successfully delivering all our studies.”

Professor John O’Brien

Studies conducted by clinicians and researchers at CPFT, working closely with people living with dementia, have contributed to the knowledge base behind new care guidelines released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) last year.

CPFT is a top performer in the East of England for recruitment to dementia studies. Recognising their contribution, NICE advises that all people with dementia should be provided with information on research studies they could participate in. Local residents interested in participating in dementia studies can contact the Trust’s Windsor Research Unit on 01223 219531 wru@cpft.nhs.uk.

John's research interests include the application of imaging biomarkers in dementia and late-life depression and he has particular expertise in Lewy body and vascular dementias.

Over his career, he has published over 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers on these topics and is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Emeritus Senior Investigator.

The NIHR supports research into all areas of dementias and neurodegenerative disease. In 2018/19, the NIHR’s Clinical Research Network supported the delivery of 24 clinical research studies on DLB – recruiting 5,793 patients, with the DIAMOND-Lewy study contributing significantly to the total recruitment.

Find out more about research in this NIHR specialty

View the full Expertscape listing online


For more information please contact:

Laura Marshall
Communications Manager
T 01223 219470

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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