UF neurologist earns NIA Career Development Award

Bhavana Patel
Dr. Bhavana Patel

By Todd Taylor

Bhavana Patel, D.O., an assistant professor of neurology, has earned a K23 career development award from the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health.

The grant will support Patel’s research to pilot a telehealth model of care for patients with Lewy body dementia, or LBD, in an effort to expand options for those who face barriers to accessing interdisciplinary care for LBD in person, which can involve extensive travel and overnight stays to see multiple specialists.

LBD is the second-most common form of neurodegenerative dementia in the U.S. behind Alzheimer’s disease. The Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health is a Lewy Body Dementia Association Research Center of Excellence, one of only 26 in the U.S.

“The rise in telemedicine during the pandemic mostly involved physician visits, however we know individuals with Lewy body dementia also need interdisciplinary care from a variety of specialists, including rehabilitation therapists, dieticians and social workers,” Patel said. “This study aims to develop a patient-centered, interdisciplinary telehealth model to help individuals with LBD access the subspecialty care they need.”