27 March 2020
Distant colleagues, a screen-based social life and perhaps some home-schooling, has become the new normal for most of us in the UK. Although some clinical researchers will be retraining to support coronavirus efforts, those who work with big data will be at home, doing their best to carry on there. Dementia research doesn’t stop in a time of corona – but it certainly changes. Dr Michele Veldsman, a dementia data researcher, is tracking her experience.
17 February 2020
Dr Delia Gheorghe is a postdoctoral research assistant at DPUK, investigating how childhood experiences influence brain structure in later life. This is how she got here.
Sometimes it’s only a small thing that triggers the changes that can lead to a dramatic step in your career. Here, Luke Whiley, an analytical chemist by training, reminds researchers to look out for opportunities in the small stuff. He tells the story of how a relatively small grant has taken him far in his career in dementia research – to the other side of the world in fact!
Two datathons in two weeks - autumn has certainly been busy season for the DPUK datathon team who have crossed the country to support a host of new dementia studies get off the ground. If you missed out on the DPUK datathons in UEA and Swansea, there are many more in the pipeline – don’t worry!
14 November 2019
Luke Whiley won a DPUK grant to investigate gut-brain interactions. On World Diabetes Day, he writes about the links between bacteria, diabetes and dementia.
24 October 2019
Research shows that our lifestyles can affect the health of our brains, and that making a few positive changes can help protect us as we get older. Dr Ivan Koychev is a clinician-scientist at Dementias Platform UK and a senior clinical researcher in Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry.
It’s time to explore divergent dementia trends in the UK and Japan to inform policies to reduce dementia risk
Can cultural differences also affect the risk of developing dementia? If so, there could be important policy implications. Dr Dorina Cadar is part of an international team of researchers doing cross-country comparative with UK and Japanese cohorts.
26 September 2019
Whilst working with one of the UK’s biggest GP databases, DPUK scientist, Tim, realised how valuable it could be for dementia research. Here, the researcher who created one of DPUK’s biggest, most representative cohorts describes how other researchers can use the resource to answer the big questions in dementia research.
22 August 2019
More than 100 researchers, 19 organisations, eight sites, and a fearless team conducting it all. DFP trial co-ordinator Tony Thayanandan gives the inside track on what it’s like to be part of such ambitious research.
Universities and industry are different – and that’s exactly why we need to work together in dementia research
15 August 2019
Universities don’t make drugs – that’s the job of the pharmaceutical companies. There are other typical divides across academia and industry too: the expertise is different, the resources are different and the ways of working are different. But that’s no reason not to work together – in fact it’s precisely why we need to. Dr Iain Chessell heads the neuroscience therapy area in AstraZeneca, one of DPUK’s industry partners.
The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing is a representative cohort of the English population in the DPUK Data Portal – it has unique data with some real potential for cross-cohort dementia research. 2002 is the year it got started, 18,000 is the number of participants, eight is the number of times they have done medical tests, and 65 is their average age now. If you are interested in dementia research and have not considered using this valuable health study yet, Dorina Cader explains why you should.
Digital tech is helping patients with dementia, but are there risks from the big data they generate?
In this final part of Ivan Koychev's blog series, Ivan considers the risks and rewards of the rapid development of digital technology for dementia research and healthcare.
Pawel, an imaging scientist, is currently on tour across the country to visit DPUK’s seven-site network of PET-MR scanners with his ‘phantoms’ in tow. The phantoms are an intriguing and vital technical step in making sure that the scanners are set up for the first participants in multicentre clinical studies for dementia.
A branch of artificial intelligence (AI) which is based on training computers to learn patterns has the ability to transform our understanding of dementia. David Llewellyn co-leads the first DPUK datathon next month. He explains why machine learning could be the beginning of the end for this devastating condition.
Although the more commonly known ‘hackathon’ has been used to address societal-level problems from homelessness to corruption, we think that it’s only recently that the data science community is turning its attention to dementia. The DPUK datathon series might well be one of the first for the field in fact. Chris, DPUK’s Data Project Manager, and Sarah, DPUK’s Senior Data Manager, take us through the three key ingredients for a successful datathon.
Ruby recently started as a postdoctoral researcher in DPUK. Alongside pursuing her research in factors affecting mental health and wellbeing, she contributes her valuable experience of working with cohort data to the developers working on the Data Portal upgrades.
Swansea, the hub of the UK’s world leading informatics expertise, is where you’ll hear the hum of the hundreds of UKSeRP servers that are the home to the DPUK Data Portal. The virtual space of the Data Portal is, in reality, run from Swansea University’s state-of-the-art Data Science Building overlooking the Bristol Channel. Here, Mark Newbury is one of the people you’re very likely to be regularly in touch with. Mark’s on hand to help bring researchers to data, because, as all researchers know, it’s not quite as simple as a click of a button, just yet.