What is your current role in EPAD?
I was the local EPAD Principal Investigator but my neurology colleague Tobias Langheinrich has recently taken over. Greater Manchester is one of the EPAD sites. The Greater Manchester Dementia Research Centre (GMDRC) is a collaboration between the NIHR, Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust and the University of Manchester which recruits participants to clinical trials of disease modifying drugs in dementia. Currently, we are recruiting through our national “Join Dementia Research” program and local Memory Assessment Services to EPAD. My role is to coordinate GMDRC and NIHR activity to recruit and maintain awareness of research throughout these organizations and Greater Manchester.
Tell us a bit about the institution/company/organization you work for.
Greater Manchester Dementia Research Centre is the crystallization of ten years of local research activity in CTIMPS and observational studies. We are the main site for clinical trial investigations in dementia in the North West of England. We conduct Industry and NIHR-funded trials and observational studies but have also recently been awarded our own grant funding for an MRI-PET study in Alzheimer’s disease and expect to be conducting research in molecular diagnostics soon.
What are your expectations from the EPAD project?
In the UK, we are moving towards a national molecular diagnostic framework and we see EPAD as fundamental to this. I will be speaking at the Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) inaugural clinical meeting on 12th November and much of what I say will feature data gleaned from EPAD V500.0, explaining how Age, CDR score and APOE-4 carrier status can give us insights into risk of Alzheimer spectrum disease, and how to direct the most needed/most expensive molecular diagnostics towards those at highest risk. This information, and the information gleaned from the soon-to-be-released V1500.0 data will help us build human-readable algorithms that can help us risk-stratify those with mild cognitive impairment and classify them onto AT(N) categories, and therefore clarify their risk of cognitive progression.