UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Developing a cell library resource for dementia research

10 September 2010

Exciting research will develop an essential research tool for dementia scientists around the world.

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Professor Martin Rossor (Department of Neurodegenerative Disease), and Professor John Hardy, Dr Selina Wray and Dr Patrick Lewis (Department of Molecular Neuroscience) have been awarded a grant by the Alzheimer's Society and BUPA to set up a new cell library (biobank) for inherited dementia patient cells.

"Much of our understanding of the biology of dementia has been discovered through studying people with rare causes of dementia caused by genetic traits, or mutations. This research cannot be carried out on living people, and there are many pitfalls associated with replicating these genetic traits in cells in the laboratory."

A new technique allows scientists to take a skin cell and transform it into a nerve cell. The resulting cells will have the exact genetic makeup as the person they originally came from. 

The biobank will enable more and better research into the underlying causes of dementia, as well as the development of new treatments.

read more >> Alzheimer's Society