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Can our environment support our brain health?

A DPUK ECR grant winner's research into the links between our environment and brain health has been used to inform a forthcoming World Health Organisation (WHO) report on healthy ageing.

A new lab to investigate the chemical signatures of dementia

A DPUK ECR grant winner is setting up a new lab in Australia to investigate the chemical signatures of healthy ageing and dementia.

Study into early Alzheimer's disease treatments


The New Therapeutics in Alzheimer's Disease study (NTAD) is looking to detect the disease before symptoms show so that research can develop preventative treatments.

Transforming clinical trials with data

Participants in DPUK's existing longitudinal studies, known as cohorts, will be offered the chance to join DPUK's Great Minds register.

Superagers and what they can tell us about dementia

Identifying the key factors that allow people to live well – without developing dementia – so we can model successful cognitive ageing.

Enhancing cognitive assessments

Better methods cognition

This team is developing the cognitive tests that are instrumental in diagnoses of dementia. Sensitive and accurate tests will enable scientists to diagnose dementia earlier – a key focus in the development of new treatments.

DPUK and experimental medicine

DPUK aims to deliver breakthroughs in dementia research through experimental medicine studies. We both directly fund and enable these studies through our technology infrastructure. In many cases, they will recruit through our clinical studies register.

Tests to bring out the best of existing health studies


Thanks to partnerships with two industry companies offering cognitive test technology, DPUK cohorts can now access online or iPad-based software to collect information on their participants' thinking and memory skills. The opportunity allows cohorts to enhance their data and optimise for use in research.

Scanning for amyloid

Amyloid is a brain protein which is associated with dementia, but it is difficult and expensive to detect. This team is conducting brain scans on 500 men and women who are already members of a long-term health study. Their extremely valuable data will be used to develop new, more convenient ways of testing for amyloid in the brain.

Ethical, legal and social issues in DPUK

Better methods Impact

As dementia research is evolving, and as so much of our work is a first for the sector, this team's work looks at the ethical issues arising from DPUK.

Studying the disease that runs in families

Some of the diseases that cause dementia have a genetic element. Looking at familial disease dementia is important because those genetically predisposed to dementia can be analysed for indicators that can then be used to improve our understanding of the other forms of the disease.

iPSCs: a shared resource

Imaging Stem cells

DPUK investment has enabled scientists to study the development of neurodegenerative disease using a type of stem cell derived from the blood samples of cohort study participants. These cells – iPSCs – are an immensely valuable resource that is being shared by research teams.

Uncovering the potential on the shelves of drug libraries

Impact Stem cells

Facilitated by DPUK, scientists at the University of Oxford are investigating the behaviour of drugs developed by AstraZeneca (AZ) on patient-specific cell models. They are looking to see if they can be used to target a range of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Healthy heart, healthy brain?

Many studies indicate that there may be links between heart health and brain health, and this connection may be a promising new avenue in research and development for treatments for brain diseases. DPUK-funded researchers are using large imaging datasets to look for early indicators of brain changes that show up in other organs too.

Studying the genetics associated with dementia

This team is developing state-of-the-art methods of predicting dementia risk by looking at the genetic data collected by long-term studies of health.

Brain scanning at a new scale

Scanning 10,000 participants a few years after a baseline scan allows for very informative findings about how our brains change as they get older.

Assessing the value of medical records in dementia research

Better methods

This team is working with the data collected by GPs and hospitals, looking to determine how this can help in scientists' understanding of brain diseases such as dementia.

Making best use of donated brains in dementia research

This team has delved into all the issues surrounding brain donation – a crucial element of many studies into dementia.

Profiling the data in existing health studies

This early area of work identified which long-term studies of health – known as 'cohorts' – would be particularly helpful for dementia research, and summarised their information for researchers’ use on the Data Portal.

Looking for the biological signs of Alzheimer's disease

Uncovering the biological signs of change that are associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease is a crucial part of detecting it at its earliest stages and developing effective treatments.

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