Cambridge team scan first patient in study looking at Alzheimer's in adults with Downs Syndrome

A team from Cambridge has scanned their first patient in an international study investigating the links between Alzheimer's disease and adults with Down’s Syndrome

Cambridge team scan first patient in study looking at Alzheimer's in adults with Downs Syndrome
14 September 2017

​CPFT consultant psychiatrist Dr Shahid Zaman and his team have successfully scanned their first patient as part of a $35 million US-led study investigating Alzheimer's disease biomarkers in adults with Down’s Syndrome. 

The study, Neurodegeneration in Aging Down Syndrome, advances previous clinical investigations led by Emeritus Professor Tony Holland of the University of Cambridge. 

The USA’s National Institutes of Health is funding two linked five-year studies. Of the nine research centres, Cambridge is the only site outside the US.

Dr Zaman’s team includes Dr Isabel Clare, Consultant Clinical & Forensic Psychologist and Liz Jones, Research Nurse, and is supported by the NIHR CLAHRC East of England

Dr Zaman, who is also Associate Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, said: “Individuals with Down’s syndrome almost always develop the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease by the age of 40 years, and so being able to study longitudinally a group of adults without clinical dementia will help us to understand the early warning signs of the dementia.

“Intervening early, before the dementia develops, is more likely to result in success when aiming to modify the progression of the disease. 

“This month we successfully scanned our first participant using MRI and PET scans, which can measure amyloid and tau protein deposits in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The outcome of this major study will have lasting benefits for the management and treatment of dementia.”

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
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