More research case studies
DPUK focuses on a wide range of areas – assessing and improving cohort data resources for dementia research.
Statistical methods to understand dementia risk
The DPUK team in Cambridge is developing statistical methods that will allow us to use cohort data, for example genetics and basic demographics, to differentiate those people who are more likely to develop dementia or deteriorate faster than others.
Brain scanning at a new scale
The DPUK team in Newcastle is enhancing the data collected in the UK's largest cohort – UK Biobank. Re-scanning 10,000 participants a few years after their baseline scan will allow for very informative findings about how our brains change as they get older.
Looking for the biological signs of Alzheimer's disease
The DPUK team in Oxford studied blood samples and a range of other biological measures taken by cohort studies. 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.
Making best use of donated brains in dementia research
The DPUK team at KCL have developed methods and processes for implementing a sustainable and scientifically informative brain and iPSC (stem cell) donation programme for use by DPUK. They have identified the most informative long-term health studies from which brain donation would be most useful, and are drawing up protocols for best practice in this area.
Enhancing cognitive assessments
Sensitive and accurate tests of thinking and memory skills will enable scientists to diagnose dementia earlier – a key focus in the development of new treatments. The DPUK team in Edinburgh has developed an enhanced set of computer-administered cognitive tests which was rolled out in the UK Biobank cohort. The new tests will provide dementia researchers with much more nuanced information about changes in the brain when dementia first takes hold. Data collection is ongoing.
Assessing the value of medical records in dementia research
The DPUK team in Edinburgh is working with the data collected by GPs and hospitals. They are working on developing robust methods to identify cases of dementia or other neurodegenerative disease, such as Parkinson’s or Motor Neurone disease, from data routinely gathered by long-term studies of health, GPs, hospitals and in death records.
Profiling the data in existing health studies
This early area of DPUK 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.
Studying the genetics associated with dementia
The DPUK team in Cardiff has developed state-of-the art risk stratification methods for Alzheimer’s disease using advanced analytical techniques such as polygenic risk scores. They are preparing exemplar analyses to test the utility of the Data Portal for cross-cohort analyses, linking genetic, population and routinely-collected health records.