Lewy Body Dementia Association Research Center of Excellence at Uf health

The Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health has garnered national recognition as a Lewy Body Dementia Association Research Center of Excellence. The award, announced April 3, 2018, recognizes centers nationwide who have distinguished experts in the diagnosis and management of Lewy body dementia (LBD) and creates a network of research centers committed to developing safe and effective treatment for people living with the disease.

meet our team

Director, Mangurian Clinical-Research Headquarters for Lewy body Dementia Associate Professor, Department of Neurology

Melissa Armstrong, MD, MSc, FAAN

Dr. Melissa Armstrong is the Director of the Mangurian Clinical-Research Headquarters for Lewy Body Dementia at the University of Florida and she leads the Lewy Body Dementia Association Research Center of Excellence at UF. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology and has an affiliate appointment in the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy. Her clinical work and research focus on improving care for persons with Lewy body dementia and their families, including increasing Lewy body dementia awareness, identifying priorities for care, and improving end-of-life experience.

Photo of Dr. Melissa Armstrong

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology

Bhavana Patel, DO, MS

Dr. Bhavana Patel is currently an Assistant Professor in the Division of Movement Disorders and Behavioral Neurology at the University of Florida. She joined the UF Department of Neurology and the Fixel Institute in 2019. Dr. Patel completed medical school at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2013, followed by a preliminary internal medicine year and neurology residency at University of Kansas in 2017. Upon completion of her neurology training she pursued a two year fellowship in Movement Disorders at University of Florida from 2017-2019.

Dr. Bhavana Patel

Associate Professor Of Neurology, Wright/Falls/Simmons Professorship In PSP And Atypical Parkinsonism, Director UF HDSA Center Of Excellence

Nikolaus McFarland, MD, PhD

Dr. Nikolaus McFarland began his career as a neuroscientist but soon realized that he wanted his work to have a more direct impact on patients and their care. Thus, he pursued medicine and neurology training, receiving a medical and doctorate degree. He completed his medical and doctoral training at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and my subsequent neurology residency at the University of Virginia in 2006, then pursued fellowship training in movement disorders at the Massachusetts General Hospital and postdoctoral research in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders at the Mass General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND).


Assistant professor, Department of neurology

Tracy Tholanikunnel, MD

Dr. Tracy Tholanikunnel received her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Following medical school, she completed an internship in internal medicine and my residency in adult neurology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Afterward, Dr. Tracy completed her fellowship in movement disorders at the University of Florida. Dr. Tracy decided to specialize in movement disorders because she enjoys having a longitudinal relationship with her patients and utilizing the opportunities for research to constantly improve treatments for my patients. 


Virtual LBD Caregiver Support Group

Please join our monthly virtual support group for caregivers of people living with dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson disease dementia receiving care at the University of Florida.

How to Join

Fill out this form to join our online support group.

Once completed, we will provide you with an invite and information on how to to connect.

Support Group Details

  • Every fourth Friday of each month
  • From 2-3 PM

For questions, contact (352) 733-2419 or dlb-support@neurology.ufl.edu.

Research and Resources


If you are interested in participating in Lewy body dementia research, please access more information here.


Articles Related to Lewy Body Dementia Written by Our Team

Local videos about dementia with Lewy bodies