On 17 February, we were pleased to hold the first local EPAD community meeting among the Scottish research sites, collaborators, academics and scientists who have been involved in the EPAD Longitudinal Cohort Study (LCS) throughout the IMI funded period and now continue to contribute to the study locally.
The first local EPAD community meeting focused on carrying on data collection within the established EPAD LCS network in Scotland, follow-on studies and open access for the large EPAD data including biosamples and imaging data. The community meeting also marked the launch of the first post-IMI EPAD local initiative which we hope will be one of many across Europe to carry on collecting longitudinal data from the participants who have already contributed valuable data over several years, as well as for the research community to share ideas.
The lead of the EPAD project Prof Craig Ritchie gave an overview of the post-IMI period including work already published and encouraging the research community to apply for the EPAD LCS data now freely available. We also got an overview from the other speakers on how to access the biosamples, the collaboration between EPAD and GAP and many of the follow-on studies. Some of the follow-on studies include a limited version of the original EPAD study protocol as well as studies using retinal imaging and speech analysis.
The EPAD Participant Panel is continuing to be active and has contributed to many projects during a challenging year, whether by getting involved in online-courses by Brain Health Scotland in Future Learn or providing valuable feedback on several study protocols for various Scottish studies. It was decided to organise local community meetings quarterly with support from the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium and keep hopeful for a face-to-face conference at the end of summer.