Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


European research project to explore Alzheimer's disease diagnosis

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, GE Healthcare, a division of the General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) and a Consortium of leading research institutions across Europe today announced the PredictAD project, a research collaboration aimed at developing new diagnostic procedures for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

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.

2 Alzheimer-Europe
3 Costs of Disorders of the Brain in Europe. Jes Olesen et al. European Journal of Neurology 12 (Suppl. 1), iii–v

About VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a contract research organisation involved in many international assignments. With its more than 2800 employees, VTT provides a wide range of technology and applied research services for its clients, private companies, institutions and the public sector. VTT is striving to improve the well-being of society and to enhance the technical and economic performance of its clients.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform, treat and monitor disease, so patients can live their lives to the fullest.

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:
Senior Vice President
Olli Ernvall
Tel. +358 20 722 6747
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is the biggest contract research organization in Northern Europe. VTT provides high-end technology solutions and innovation services. From its wide knowledge base, VTT can combine different technologies, create new innovations and a substantial range of world-class technologies and applied research services, thus improving its clients' competitiveness and competence. Through its international scientific and technology network, VTT can produce information, upgrade technology knowledge and create business intelligence and value added to its stakeholders.

Jyrki Lötjönen | VTT
Further information:

Further reports about: Alzheimer Diagnostic Healthcare PredictAD Society Treatment diagnosis

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders
24.10.2016 | Baylor College of Medicine

nachricht New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground
24.10.2016 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>