The brain and the heart are the two organs which have been studied more than any other, providing a profound, though still incomplete, understanding of ageing and the development of disease. This is a DPUK-funded study, led by Professor Steve Williams at King’s College London.
Researchers at Janssen and Imperial College London have teamed up to tackle a challenge that faces all drug development companies working on Alzheimer’s: how to intervene early – before the damage inflicted by the disease is too great, and too late.
DPUK enabled experimental medicine Imaging
Researchers will carry out additional PET scanning of 100 people who have already had PET scans as part of their involvement in two existing health study cohorts – EPAD and PREVENT. The extra information they collect on the 'tau' protein, when combined with existing data from these participants, will create a very rich dataset for modelling the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and subsequent dementia.
Researchers have found that lipid biomarkers can be used to predict a small amount of variance in cognition, by using blood samples from the Lothian 1936 birth cohort. Finding effective biomarkers – biological signs – of cognitive ability is critical to our understanding of the early stage disease processes, where there is most chance of developing effective interventions. This was a DPUK-funded study, led by Professor Ian Deary at the University of Edinburgh.
One of the big challenges facing dementia researchers is how to diagnose and track Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest stages – often decades before symptoms start to show. The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study will help scientists to identify the best early warning signs of this condition, and to track responses to treatments.
The New Therapeutics into Alzheimer's Disease (NTAD) study is looking to detect markers of the disease before symptoms show. These markers for the disease will be used to test whether experimental treatments can delay, or even prevent, the progression of the disease.
There is significant evidence that inflammation is a primary factor in the development of Alzheimer's disease, rather than a consequence of the disease. The team is conducting genetic tests known as 'genotyping' on blood samples from DPUK cohorts, and using these to produce an exemplar statistical model of Alzheimer's disease prediction.
This study looks at how the changes in the rate of production of protein in the brain affects Alzheimer's disease. Specifically, it tests the hypothesis that reduction in cerebral protein synthesis occurs. This is a DPUK-funded study, led by Giovanna Mallucci at the University of Cambridge.