Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) was established to enhance research into dementia, so we find effective treatment sooner.
DPUK was funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) to facilitate and accelerate the discovery of new ways to understand, diagnose, and treat dementia. It is a public-private partnership that gives unprecedented access to detailed information for over 2 million individuals, from over 50 long-term studies of health, known as 'cohort' studies. By joining data from all these studies, DPUK provides an integrated and collaborative environment, bringing together scientists from academia and industry to share knowledge and conduct joint research programmes. It is a foundation for new ways of working with academia, industry, regulators, health care providers, patients and the public.
A single, secure data repository
By bringing data from multiple cohorts into a single, secure, environment – the DPUK Data Portal – the need to transfer increasingly large and complex data files between research groups is greatly reduced.
By maintaining these data in an environment operating to the highest data protection standards, cohort participants and researchers can be reassured that the data are managed securely and responsibly; maintaining privacy whilst maximising scientific value.
Accelerating the discovery of new treatments
The large number of individuals in our cohorts allows key research questions to be answered more rigorously and more rapidly than would otherwise be possible.
To make the best use of these data resources, DPUK has established a number of collaborative initiatives with universities across the UK to enable discovery and testing of new disease concepts, diagnostics or potential treatments.
DPUK technology networks promote a new generation of medical experiments targeting specific mechanisms through shared state-of-the art technologies and streamlined procedures.
- Our five-centre Informatics network provides coordinated digital data collection, curation, storage, and access management for all major data modalities and for all study designs.
- Our seven-centre Imaging network enables high quality molecular and structural brain imaging studies to be conducted throughout the UK in multicentre studies.
- Our six-centre Stem cell network provides high throughput production of the brain cell types essential to the identification of the mechanisms underlying dementia.
The DPUK research communities bring together academic and industry experts to increase the number of scientists and organisations conducting innovative experimental studies and robust clinical trials in dementia.
Clinical studies register
Our clinical studies register will enable better recruitment to dementia studies. DPUK cohort members are highly valuable to clinical studies, owing to the detailed information that is already available on their lifestyle, medical history, genetics, and more. By inviting members of cohorts to make themselves available for dementia research, DPUK will enable a new generation of highly informative clinical studies.
The challenges posed by the dementias are complex. Addressing them will demand a response that is coordinated and sustained over the long-term. It will demand 'cross-fertilisation' with new ideas from multiple disciplines.
DPUK combines the creativity of the best researchers from both academia and industry with the R&D skills and knowledge of world-leading pharmaceuticals companies in strategic partnership initiatives. We bring together the people who have the power to tackle dementia: those who have generously given their time to be studied as part of a cohort, and those who dedicate their life to researching the disease.
The platform makes the most of their expertise, creating new tools and resources to deliver research to accelerate pathways for future medicines. Through this effort, we also facilitate training for new scientists to better ensure future growth in our understanding of the dementias. DPUK is supporting scientists across the world to generate the new knowledge needed to help people live longer, cognitively healthier lives.