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Ukb freezer
UK Biobank storage facility. Credit Stephen McGowan

These areas of Dementias Platform UK focus on creating the ground-breaking Data Portal, and on enhancing the data that we are able to make available to researchers.

Cohort profiling

Led by Craig Ritchie, University of Edinburgh

This early area of work identified which cohorts would be particularly helpful for dementia research, and summarised their information for researchers’ use on the data portal.

Data Portal

Led by Ronan Lyons, Swansea University

This secure, free-to-access IT resource integrates information from 2 million people across multiple cohorts for researchers worldwide to access securely and quickly. Using the Data Portal enables researchers to identify which cohorts are relevant to them, apply for access to the data and then analyse it in a secure, remote environment with a complete data linkage and analysis package.

Find out more about the Data Portal.

Re-imaging UK Biobank participants 

Led by John Gallacher, University of Oxford

Scanning participants a few years after a baseline scan enables very informative findings about how our brains change as they get older. By rescanning 10,000 UK Biobank participants at two years, we are able to gain this valuable information on an unprecedented scale.

Amyloid cohort

Led by Jonathan Schott, University College London

The Medical Research Council (MRC) National Survey of Health and Development is a birth cohort which was started in 1946. This area of DPUK work conducts MRI and PET scans, and blood and urine tests, on 500 of these men and women of approximately the same age to identify amyloid levels in the brain. Amyloid is a protein which is associated with dementia. The data will be uploaded to the DPUK Data Portal, and this information will make these participants extremely valuable for further research.

Familial disease cohort

Led by Martin Rossor, University College London

Looking at familial dementia is important because those genetically predisposed to dementia can be analysed for potential causes and biological indicators that can then be tested in larger population cohorts. This work brings together several familial cohorts: the UCL FAD (including DIAN), Familial FTD (including GENFI), HD (Track HD) and new LRKK2 cohorts.


Led by Simon Lovestone, University of Oxford

This work conducts analyses to identify biomarkers for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions. Different DPUK cohorts will be assessed according to risk and the research team will study the bloods and other potential indicators of disease. A biomarker bio-resource will be created.

Informatics network

Led by John Gallacher, University of Oxford

The informatics network underpins the ground-breaking digital access work of DPUK. Through its collaboration with CRIS, it contributes to a huge, world-leading achievement – aggregating mental health records held by NHS trusts, and making them available to researchers. The network also creates the IT infrastructure to hold complex digital data, such as the imaging data that is critical for multicentre experimental studies. Another first is the creation of an IT network that can integrate data from wearable devices, such as gait sensors, GPS trackers and smart watches. Much of this data – from imaging and wearables – will be tested in the Deep and Frequent Phenotyping Study