Clinical dementia research

Contact: Lena Kilander
Visiting address: Husargatan/Dag Hammarskjölds väg, BMC (entry A11), Uppsala

The following are the main areas in clinical dementia research at the Memory Clinic, Uppsala Academic Hospital and the Dept of Public Health and Caring Sciences/Geriatrics:

Epidemiology

Evaluation of potential risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD). The Uppsala Longitudinal Study on Adult Men (ULSAM) started in 1970 and enrolled 2322 participants. Up to December 2005 (53.000 person-years, maximum follow-up 37 years), a little more than one hundred cases of incident AD has been identified in this cohort. Data from the baseline examination at age 50 years and from the follow-up examinations at 70, 77 and 82 years include traditional cardiovascular risk factors with detailed information on diet and other life-style factors, factors linked to insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome, and cognitive tests. Plasma amyloid beta protein (Abeta) has been measured twice. Currently, we investigate whether various dietary factors, such as fatty acids and antioxidants, influence the risk of AD and other cognitive disorders and the importance of Abeta as a possible predictor of AD.

Neuroimaging and biomarkers

We collaborate with the Uppsala Imanet PET-centre in brain positron emission tomography studies with Pittsburgh B (PIB), which is a novel marker of amyloid load, and its potential use in the diagnosis of AD and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Another project concerns longitudinally changes of AD markers in cerebrospinal fluid (tau, phospho-tau and Abeta) during treatment with memantine.

Research focusing on patients own experiences of dementia disorders

The concept of insight (i.e. illness awareness) in AD and FTD is analyzed using data from interviews of patients and caregivers, and neuropsychological test results. We also take part in multi-centre randomized controlled trials with new pharmacological agents for treatment of AD.