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Retinal image showing plaque-like structures © Retinal image showing plaque-like structures, NeuroVision Imaging

In making this decision, DPUK recognises the importance of their contributions to the fight against dementia, and demonstrates the common goals of academia and industry in wanting to find causes and treatments for diseases which affect 850,000 people in the UK, and 4.6 million worldwide.

Specifically, the contributions of both Cambridge Cognition and NeuroVision Imaging will facilitate recruitment of suitable participants to early-stage clinical trials for dementia. The need for early trials reflects scientific understanding that the damage that is occurring in a brain affected by Alzheimer’s starts long before the symptoms such as memory loss and confusion start to show. Both Cambridge Cognition and NeuroVision Imaging are contributing to the Deep and Frequent Phenotyping (DFP) study, which aims to identify the early, pre-symptom signs of dementia. DFP is the largest UK study funded to investigate this critical area of dementia research: over the course of one year, the 250 volunteer study participants – none of whom currently show any symptoms of dementia – will undertake a variety of tests including MRI, MEG and PET amyloid brain scans, alongside cognitive tests, gait analysis, eye tests and blood tests.

Cambridge Cognition – a neuroscience digital health company – is a leader in the field of cognitive testing, and its software, CANTAB, will be used in the cognitive testing component of the DFP study. NeuroVision Imaging is developing non-invasive eye-imaging technology which will be used in the eye tests. The build-up of amyloid – a protein that occurs naturally in the brain – is a known hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease but current methods to accurately measure it are both invasive and expensive. NeuroVision’s retinal cameras have the potential to revolutionise how scientists measure amyloid in the brain.

Combining the CANTAB data and NeuroVision's retinal image information with the other data collected by the DFP study will allow for a more nuanced understanding of the progression of dementia at the early stages.

I am delighted that Cambridge Cognition and NeuroVision Imaging have been confirmed as associate partners of DPUK through the Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study. They will bring considerable commercial and intellectual expertise to our platform.
John Gallacher, Director of Dementias Platform UK

Many world-leading pharmaceuticals and healthcare industry researchers join with academic researchers through DPUK. Associate Partners contribute to specific projects within DPUK, and benefit from the technology and knowledge resources within the DPUK network. Full partners become members of DPUK as a whole.

Find out more about the Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study.

Find out more about partnering with DPUK.