Research Projects

Mapping DNA switches in frontotemporal dementia

Awarded to:
Dr Conceição Bettencourt

Current award:

University College London

3 July 2020 - 2 July 2023

Full project name:

Dissecting the methylome across FTD pathological subtypes – another path for treatment?






Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a rarer form of dementia, thought to account for around 5% of cases.

FTD can be caused by several different disease processes with each linked to particular symptoms and brain changes. However, little is known about what causes this variety in diseases.

Dr Conceição Bettencourt will study chemical tags on DNA which alter which genes are switched on or off in different types of FTD. The research will identify patterns of these chemical tags on DNA in specific types of FTD.

The project aims to help researchers understand what goes wrong in brain cells in FTD and identify markers of specific diseases that cause the condition.


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