Dementia affects over 830,000 people in the UK and approximately 36 million people worldwide. In addition to the huge personal suffering, dementia costs the UK economy £26 billion a year, more than cancer and heart disease combined. There are several causes of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. At present dementia remains incurable.
SITraN has two groups focussing and collaborating on dementia:
Amongst multiple national and international collaborations, both the SITraN TNG and Neuropathology Group are working on major European projects led by the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Computational Imaging & Simulation Technologies in Biomedicine (CISTIB) for which they have received significant awards from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The ambitious aim of these projects is to enable more objective, earlier, predictive and individualised diagnoses and prognoses of dementias through imaging technology to improve healthcare of dementia patients across Europe and beyond.
This project aims to deliver the first modelling platform for biomedical research and clinical decision making in dementia by combining a wide range of physiological data from medical imaging – such as blood flow, brain tissue properties and cellular activity – with psychological measures such as memory and cognitive function, as well as demographic, genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors, making it much more sensitive than existing diagnostic tools. This is expected to lead to the discovery of novel biomarkers of disease onset and progression, and to understand the effects of novel drugs and treatments.
This collaboration sets out to characterise and quantify early damage in microstructures/microstructural tissue damage in the brain and differential alterations in blood flow and blood transport using a novel MRI technique. The project will deliver MRI sequences and analysis tools to link neuropathology, neuroimaging, and biophysics.