World’s Largest Dementia Study Launched in the UK

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has announced the launch of the world’s largest study into dementia, involving more than two million people.  The clinical study will be conducted through the Medical Research Council and industry partners.

The UK Dementias Research Platform (UKDP) will investigate the causes of dementia across a range of different neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease.

The clinical study will analyse data from over two million volunteers aged 50 and over who have participated in existing population studies, linking the study to “emerging biological data from genetic studies, brain imaging and cognitive testing.”

The study aims to allow scientists to identify better biomarkers of the key changes associated with dementia, helping scientists to develop “new and more accurate clinical trials and find ways to limit and improve symptoms and quality of life for those affected.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK

In another major announcement also made at the first legacy event of the G8 Dementia Summit in London, Alzheimer’s Research UK have promised to put £100 million towards tackling dementia over the next five years.

Alzheimer’s Research UK launched their Defeat Dementia campaign, which includes the charity’s establishment of the UK Stem Cell Research Centre, a £2 million venture between University College London and the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, to understand the causes of Alzheimer’s and screen potential new treatments.

The campaign will involve a network of drug discovery institutes, worth £30 million, located in academic establishments in the UK and a £20 million global clinical development fund to allow for Phase I and II clinical trials to test future treatments as soon as possible.

The director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Eric Karran, noted that the Defeat Dementia campaign “aims to reignite R&D into the diseases that cause dementia” with the aim to “bring patient benefit as soon as possible.”


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