Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre

The Research Challenge

Neurodegenerative diseases (NDD) are the 6th leading cause of death, a major cause of disability and residential care placement, and the main cause of dementia in the UK. By 2025, one million people will be affected by dementia – unless effective disease modifying therapies are found. Dementia alone costs the UK economy £23bn a year, more than cancer and heart disease combined, yet UK government and charitable investment in dementia research is 12 times lower than spending on cancer research.

The highest priority for patients with neurodegenerative diseases is to find treatments that slow or halt disease progression. These treatments should be offered as early as possible to have maximum impact on loss of cognitive and neurological function. The Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre will:

  1. accelerate the development and validation of treatments
  2. open an earlier therapeutic window for intervention
  3. horizon scan for future therapeutic targets.

Neurodegeneration Research at UCL

UCL is a world-leading research centre for neuroscience, whether measured by published output, citations, grant income, or prizes and honours. For instance, UCL currently has the highest level of ISI citations in Europe, and is ranked second worldwide in the field of neuroscience and behaviour. The Centre will draw on UCL’s wide ranging strengths in translational research in neurodegeneration. The UCL Institute of Neurology (IoN) and its partner hospital, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) in Queen Square, constitute an internationally recognised centre for clinical neuroscience and translational research.

The IoN has a reputation for world-leading neurodegeneration research, including research labs focussed on understanding the molecular and cellular causes of a variety of diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Frontotemporal dementia, Huntington's disease, prion disease and the ataxias. It includes groups with internationally leading strengths in molecular structure, genetics, biochemistry, immunology, cell and animal models, and clinical and imaging research, including treatment trials.

Clinical partnerships

UCL benefits from a powerful translational infrastructure and exceptionally strong clinical partnerships with the NHS that are highly relevant to this Initiative. UCL belongs to one of only five Department of Health nationally accredited Academic Health Science Centres. UCL Partners brings together UCL with four closely associated teaching hospitals and provides focus to exploit our findings for patient benefit in the community. The NHNN is a national referral centre for patients with neurodegenerative disease.

Page last modified on 01 oct 12 14:48