Research Projects

Can we predict the development of Alzheimer’s?

Awarded to:
Dr Miriam Vignando

Current award:
£230,130.00

Institution:
King’s College London

Dates:
1 June 2023 - 31 May 2026

Full project name:

Defining cognitive profiles and trajectories of neurodegeneration with neurocomputational approaches

Diagnosis

Treatments

Understand

Risks

Symptoms

One of the major challenges in dementia is that its progression can differ from person to person. If two people are diagnosed with the same condition, one person’s symptoms may progress rapidly to dementia, while another may not develop symptoms for many years.

Previous research suggests that small chemical messengers called ‘neurotransmitters’ could affect brain structure and function. These messengers are responsible for sending signals between brain cells. However, we still don’t know the extent to which neurotransmitters contribute to changes in brain structure and function.

Recent breakthroughs in brain computer analysis and brain scans mean we can study how the brain works in more detail than ever before. Dr Miriam Vignando and her team will use these techniques to link brain structure and function to molecular pathways for the first time. The group hope to uncover the mechanisms behind why some people are more likely to develop dementia faster than others when they have the same diagnosis.

The results of this could revolutionise how we deliver treatments. Clinicians could use the results  to:

  • Provide treatment plans tailored to a person based on how fast their symptoms are likely to progress.
  • Help decide when the best time to deliver a treatment to someone is.
  • Improve clinical trials by making sure that people are in the correct trial based on what stage they are at.

This research could enable us to find more efficient and cost-effective ways to deliver treatments to people affected by dementia, taking us closer to a cure.

Help us fund more projects like this one

Dementia is one of the world’s greatest challenges. It steals lives and leaves millions heartbroken. But we can change the future.

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