Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European research project to explore Alzheimer's disease diagnosis

06.06.2008
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 www.alzheimer-europe.org
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
olli.ernvall@vtt.fi
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:
http:// www.vtt.fi/
http://www.gehealthcare.com
http://www.vtt.fi/?lang=en

Further reports about: Alzheimer Diagnostic Healthcare PredictAD Society Treatment diagnosis

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cells communicate in a dynamic code
19.02.2018 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
19.02.2018 | Biophysical Society

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

When Proteins Shake Hands

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

Cells communicate in a dynamic code

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>