UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Early Intervention in Neurodegeneration

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 and
  3. horizon scan for future therapeutic targets.

Our goal

Our major goal, strongly supported by UCL and UCLH, is to ensure the prevention of
neurodegeneration rather than solely develop further therapies that react to established pathologies.

What we propose

We propose an interdisciplinary, cross disease approach, led by eight principal researchers (Nick Fox, John Collinge, John Hardy, Martin Rossor, Anthony Schapira, Sarah Tabrizi, Alan Thompson and Nick Wood) uniting the unparalleled expertise of UCL‟s leading scientists and clinicians in the field of neurodegeneration, with renowned international collaborators and industry partners, to identify potential disease modifying therapies.

We will bring together the techniques, the investigators and the facilities needed to conduct early intervention studies in unique cohorts in the new Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre.

We will validate and optimise methods for tracking presymptomatic change in the different neurodegenerative diseases and thereby determine the feasibility and requirements of prevention studies. Using a combination of novel biomarkers,
well-characterised at-risk cohorts, and sensitive and precise measures of progression;

We will deliver proof-of-concept studies at an earlier stage than ever before. The Centre will be unique in the UK and will dramatically advance our understanding and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

It will establish effective new methods and a dedicated national resource for testing novel therapies.

Importantly, we will create embedded clinical and scientific training programmes and
international links to develop the next generation of international leaders in neurodegeneration and dementia research.