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Smart watches could detect Parkinson’s up to seven years before hallmark symptoms appear

Smart watches could identify Parkinson’s disease up to seven years before hallmark symptoms appear and a clinical diagnosis can be made, new UK DRI research reveals. The study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.

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Project to test combinations of drugs aims to speed up delivery of urgently needed treatments for motor neuron disease

A new project by UK DRI researchers aims to identify combinations of existing drugs that could be used together to treat motor neuron disease (MND).

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Translating discoveries: UK DRI research takes next step to the clinic with help from Alzheimer's Research UK's Drug Discovery Alliance

At the UK DRI, we’re working to decipher the biological causes underlying neurodegenerative disease. This is the first step in the development of new treatments, but there are still many hurdles to overcome in identifying promising targets for therapeutic intervention. In the UK, we are fortunate to have the expertise of the Drug Discovery Alliance (DDA), playing a vital role in bridging the gap between discovery research and the pharmaceutical industry.

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Drug targets and gene editing: third round of Translation Award announced

We are pleased to announce the four awardees in the third round of the UK DRI Translation Award programme – designed to unlock impact and drive translation within the Institute, kick starting the early development of projects to bring us closer to new treatments and technologies for dementia.

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Repairing insulation around neurons may offer new treatment opportunity for neurodegenerative disease

A new study led by Prof Veronique Miron (UK DRI at Edinburgh) has found that astrocytes, a key support cell in the brain, may play a beneficial role in repairing the myelin that surrounds neurons, which is damaged in multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers say the findings also have important consequences in ageing and for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, where myelin is also damaged.

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Professor Siddharthan Chandran appointed as new Director of the UK DRI

We are delighted to announce that Prof Siddharthan Chandran, a world-leading expert in neurodegenerative diseases, will become the new Director of the UK DRI from 1 October 2023.

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CURE-ND partners unite across borders for knowledge exchange and networking

It was a busy start to 2023 for the European alliance for neurodegenerative research, CURE-ND, coming together and strengthening ties for a clinical workshop, an ECR meeting and a symposium at the British Neuroscience Association’s Festival of Neuroscience.

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Major project to understand gene activity will unlock crucial knowledge of vascular dementia

A major new UK DRI project to develop an ‘atlas’ of the gene activity in the blood vessels of the brain is set to transform understanding of vascular dementia. Combining this map with genetic studies, the project will address a critical knowledge gap by identifying which genes influence our risk of vascular dementia, and how their effects manifest.

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New research explores how tracking sleep with an innovative sensor may help diagnose dementia

Researchers from the UK DRI, Imperial College London, UCL and Newcastle University are collaborating in a major new project to develop a technology that could help identify people at risk of developing dementia by analysing their sleep patterns.

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Prof Giles Hardingham to be interim Director of UK DRI

​UK DRI are pleased to announce that Prof Giles Hardingham has been named Interim Director of the Institute while the process to find a new permanent Director continues. He will take up the post on 1 June 2023.

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New study reveals how toxic proteins spread through brain in Alzheimer’s

New research led by Prof Tara Spires-Jones (UK DRI at Edinburgh) has revealed fresh insight into the spread of damaging proteins that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers say the study, published in the journal Neuron, could hold the key to stopping the condition progressing.

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UK DRI welcomes new Centre Director to UK DRI at Cambridge

We are delighted to announce that Prof Mina Ryten has been appointed as the new Director of the UK DRI Centre at Cambridge University, and Van Geest Professor.

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World-class neuroscience centre building and future home for UK DRI at UCL reaches highest point in construction

The new world-class neuroscience building at UCL, and future home of the UK DRI at UCL and HQ, reached the highest point construction milestone this month, celebrating with a ‘Topping Out’ ceremony on Thursday 11 May.

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UK DRI joins UK Health Data Research Alliance for best practice of use of heath data in research

We are pleased to announce that the UK DRI has joined the UK Health Data Research Alliance, an independent alliance of leading healthcare and research organisations united to establish best practice for the ethical use of UK health data for research at scale.

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New Alzheimer's drug donanemab slows cognitive decline by 35% in phase 3 trial

Today (3 May 2023) the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has announced positive results from its phase 3 trial of donanemab for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Lilly reports that the drug slowed cognitive decline by 35% compared to a placebo.

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HIV drug helps protect against build-up of dementia-related proteins in mouse brains

In a new mouse study, scientists led by Prof David Rubinsztein (UK DRI at Cambridge) have revealed that a repurposed HIV drug can restore the brain’s ability to clear out toxic proteins, which is impaired in Huntington’s disease and other forms of dementia. The research, published in the journal Neuron, offers clues to how the build-up of toxic proteins could in future be slowed or prevented in humans.

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From bench to bedside: bridging the gap between discovery research and the clinic in vascular research

Translating discoveries from the lab into the clinic is a key part of the UK DRI’s mission. However, there can sometimes be a disconnect between discovery and clinical research, resulting in challenges in turning research findings into tangible impacts for patients. Early career researchers (ECRs) from the UK DRI’s Vascular Theme discussed current issues in translating from lab to clinic and back again, at a lively workshop in Edinburgh.

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Boosting brain immune cell waste clearance could provide new drug target for MND

A new study, led by Prof Siddharthan Chandran and Prof Josef Priller (UK DRI at Edinburgh), has revealed that the essential waste clearance role within microglia, the brain’s resident immune cells, is impaired in motor neuron disease (MND). The study, published in Science Advances, provides a potential new target for future drug discovery.

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Dr Amanda Heslegrave: My Week in Westminster at the Royal Society Pairing Scheme 2023

Dr Amanda Heslegrave (UK DRI at UCL) runs the UK DRI Biomarker Factory alongside Prof Henrik Zetterberg. Dr Heslegrave took part in the Royal Society Pairing Scheme 2023, a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the inner workings of parliament and insight into how policy is shaped. Here, she shares how her week in Westminster went.

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UK DRI researcher receives prestigious Biochemical Society Award

We are delighted to announce that Prof Joanna Wardlaw (UK DRI at Edinburgh) has been awarded the 2024 Biochemical Society Award for Sustained Excellence.

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