BioResource: 100,000 people to support dementia research

Reseach project: BioResource - Genes & Cognition:  Establishing a stratified population cohort of 100,000 people recallable for pre-clinical studies of neurodegeneration and dementia.

Lead Investigator: Professor Patrick Chinnery

  • Institution: University of Cambridge
  • Grant type: Project
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Amount: £213,037

Why did we fund this research?

Comments from our Research Network volunteers:

Research projects of this scale are essential for informing future research. I particularly like this project because it includes a cross section of society.

Project summary

Professor Chinnery and his team will build a cohort of 100,000 healthy people. These individuals are already part of the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) BioResource cohort and so the team have access to information about their demographic, clinical and genetic profiles. 

The team will invite participants to complete online memory and thinking tests so they can understand more about the role of variations in our genes in dementia. 

The background 

The NIHR in recent years has collected demographic, clinical and genetic information of over 100,000 healthy people known as the ‘NIHR BioResource for Translational Research in Common and Rare Diseases’. 

The genetic information gathered will include information about variations in our genes that are associated with neurodegeneration and dementia. The NIHR BioResource will recruit a further 200,000 healthy volunteers by 2022.

Professor Chinnery and his team will use this invaluable information to study risk of developing dementia in over 100,000 healthy people so they can understand more about the very earliest signs of the condition and test new treatments before it progresses too far.

What does this project involve?

The team will build a database of people from the NIHR BioResource who are willing to participate in research before they have developed any memory loss or thinking problems. All of the participants will have given consent to be invited to take part in future clinical studies.

The research team will invite all participants to complete online test for memory and thinking to:

  • Understand more about the role in dementia of variation in genes
  • And bring together a group of people the research team can invite to take part in studies based on their genetic and cognitive profiles.

How will this project help people with dementia?

This project will provide a unique platform to advance our understanding of the very earliest stages of dementia and the development of new treatments. 

This new Bioresource cohort will be available to academic researchers and the pharmaceutical industry, attracting early-stage clinical trials to the United Kingdom, and accelerating the discovery of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

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