Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Are Focus of Large Study Getting Underway in UK

Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Are Focus of Large Study Getting Underway in UK
Researchers announced the start of what is being called the largest and most thorough study yet undertaken to identify biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease before symptoms occur. Such findings could help determine the success of Alzheimer clinical trials and lead to earlier diagnoses. The British effort involves the translational research firm Imanova, working in partnership with the research resource Dementias Platform UK, to provide analyses of brain protein aggregates using imaging techniques. Called "The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping Study," the project received £6.9 million (about $9.2 million) in funding by the U.K. Medical Research Council and the National Institute of Health Research, and aims to identify factors that can help in assessing the effectiveness of a drug in clinical trials. Such biomarkers would make it easier to determine if a clinical trial should continue or not. As the first large clinical trial performed by Dementias Platform UK, it will recruit 250 volunteers from other studies led by the organization. All volunteers will be elderly, but have no symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Tests will be run over a 12-month period and include movement and walking assessments, eye examinations, tests of cognitive abilities such as attention and memory, and laboratory analyses of blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid from the brain. Importantly, the study will also include several brain imaging assessments using techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and Positron
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