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The second day of #Translation2024 began with a personal account of living with mild cognitive impairment before we dived into the complexity of data and AI.

Delegates networking at Translation 2024 conference

Professor David Bennett of Rush University Chicago gave a keynote talk exploring how loss of cognition with age is a complex function of multiple brain pathologies. Professor Ira Haraldsen, Oslo University and Principal Investigator for AI-Mind then gave a fascinating insight into the capabilities and challenges of AI explaining how effective hybrid tools require a deep integration of medical knowledge with computer science expertise in order to build a trustworthy AI model for the future.

Prof David Llewellyn of Exeter University continued with more on ‘Machines and minds’ explaining how data just sits there, and until we put it to work, it doesn’t make a difference. Whilst AI “can do it all” including finding hidden patterns, it remains a double-edged sword in the fight against dementia.  The morning session on Data concluded with talks from Dr Robin Wolz, IXICO an expert in medical imaging and AI data analytics and Early Career Researcher flash talks on the impact of sleep on cognition and how data can be used to detect known side effects and help patients.

The afternoon saw a rich discussion centered around Trials for all and providing real change for real people.  Trials need to be faster and set up quickly and data is needed from a much more representative population.  Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK and Co-Chair, Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission explained we are entering one of the most exciting times with the first disease modifying treatments on the horizon and how through research, we can find a way to transform the devastation of dementia.  Dr Lynne Hughes (GAP) revealed that despite this optimism and opportunity, Disease Modifying Therapy (DMT) AD Trials are slower to enrol and take longer than trials in other therapeutic areas.  Prof Robert Perneczky (LMU Hospital, Munich) shared an overview of The International Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias (InRAD): A new platform for real-world data collaborations with a call for better alignment in data collection. 

Victoria Breeden of Eli Lilly and Company UK Ltd gave an industry perspective on clinical trials and the conference came to a close with flash talks from Early Career Researchers, Dr Ta-Wei Guu, King’s College London and Dishaa Sinha and Nishat Tahira from Oxford University.

DPUK Director, Prof John Gallacher, Oxford University summarized the future landscape and how we will be revising our partners, programmes and structures moving forward in order to  increase the globalisation of what we do. That includes helping train the next generation of dementia researchers wherever they may be and working better with industry for greater public benefit.