Today there is no single test or biomarker that can predict whether a particular person will develop Alzheimer´s disease and a definitive diagnosis is only possible after death – with postmortem analysis.
PredictAD is an EU funded research project which will study imaging biomarkers (MRI, PET FDG and PET PIB), electrical brain activity measurement and blood based markers (proteomics and metabolomics) and develop methods for how to combine data from different biomarkers.. Combining this multisource information may enable earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, but may also provide crucial information used for differentiating between various forms of dementia and for assessing disease severity. It may also allow for improved detection of disease progression and treatment efficacy monitoring.
”The aim of PredictAD project is to develop an objective indicator to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease at the earliest stage possible. This may be possible by combining data from various data sources of patient monitoring, such as neuropsychological tests, medical imaging, electrical brain activity measurements, and analyzing protein and metabolomics levels of blood samples. Early diagnostics may play an important role in effective medical treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the future, as the next generation of more effective therapies become available for all patients,” says the Scientific Coordinator of the project, Dr. Jyrki Lötjönen from VTT.
“According to the latest estimates, the global prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is predicted to quadruple to 106 million by 20501. Thus, there is a critical need for effective diagnostic tools to help in the early diagnosis of this debilitating disease," says Dr. Lennart Thurfjell, Head of Diagnostic Software, Medical Diagnostics at GE Healthcare.
At a later stage during this three-year project, a selected biomarker set will be used to develop an efficient and reliable software solution that can be used by a physician to assess the risk, to diagnose and to monitor the progress of Alzheimer’s disease in real clinical conditions using various patient data. The accuracy, usability and cost-effectiveness of the models and software will be clinically evaluated.
Currently, there is no curative treatment for Alzheimer's disease. If new drugs or prevention strategies were proven to be effective, an early diagnosis may enable doctors to provide medical care at an earlier stage, at a time when clinical diagnosis using only signs and symptoms of disease is challenging.
"PredictAD fits perfectly with GE Healthcare’s "Early Health" vision as it will help us gain important knowledge, not only about individual biomarkers, but also about how they may combine for early detection and therapy response monitoring. Improving our understanding of the role that different imaging and non-imaging biomarkers play during the disease process is the key as we strive to develop new diagnostic solutions for Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Thurfjell sums up.
Dementia causes long and oppressive suffering to patients and their relatives, and imposes enormous costs on society. Affecting more than 5 million people in Europe2, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia; it covers 50-70 % of all dementia cases2. Estimated costs of Alzheimer’s disease to European society are more than 55 billion € per annum3. As the proportion of elderly people of population is increasing these costs are becoming a real burden to the society. Therefore a major breakthrough in Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment is vital also in the economical sense.
With a consortium of top-level European research and industrial partners, the PredictAD project takes an important step towards an early approach to Alzheimer’s disease prediction and management. Public and private partners from 8 research,academic, industrial and medical organizations from four different European countries will form the research consortium. PredictAD consortium members are VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, GE Healthcare (UK), Nextim Ltd. (Finland), University of Kuopio (Finland), Imperial College London (UK), Uppsala University (Sweden), University of Milan (Italy) and Rigshospitalet (Denmark).1 Forecasting the global burden of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s and Dementia Vol. 3 pp. 186 – 191, July 2007.
About VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
GE Healthcare's broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries.Further information on VTT:
Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy