Medical specialists aim to be able to give Alzheimer’s patients their own personal treatment and care plans and so better quality of life thanks to a new project.

Alzheimer research

The £3.8 million IASIS project, funded by the European Union, aims to use the ever-growing wealth of patient data to provide vital information about how Alzheimer’s patients respond to their treatment. It will look at how a range of information including patient medical records, MRI scanner images and DNA data, can be brought together into a robust evidence database.

The international collaboration, which includes experts from St George’s, University of London and the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, will bring together data from major research studies in an effort to improve treatment options.

Analysis of these data sources will offer previously unavailable insights into diagnosis, disease development and response to treatment for patients. The data will allow researchers and doctors to progress their understanding of individual patient responses, with the eventual aim of advancing precision medicine and improving health treatment and better life chances across the world.

Professor Peter Garrard, of St George’s, University of London is leading on the Alzheimer’s disease area of the project, said: “This new initiative will help us to join up all the pieces of the puzzle, so that clinicians and their patients will ultimately be able to benefit in a practical way.”

“Personalised or precision medicine, once thought impossibly futuristic, is coming ever closer thanks to innovations in genetic medicine and high-tech data gathering.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK is collaborating with St George’s on this project and will provide expertise to help turn findings from the project into policy recommendations to improve patient outcomes.

Dr Alison Evans, Head of Policy and Impact at the charity, said: “To offer the right treatment and support for people with Alzheimer’s, it’s vitally important that health policy is underpinned by robust evidence.

“Thanks to people volunteering to take part in research there are now several separate datasets offering vital insight into this devastating disease, but until now it has been a challenge to bring these together. By pooling this data, this initiative will provide the strongest evidence-base possible to help guide future healthcare decisions.”

The project is focusing initially on Alzheimer’s disease and lung cancer, but it’s hoped that in future the approach could be applied to other disease areas.

The IASIS project is a Horizon 2020 project bringing together partners from 10 research organisations in five countries. It is funded by the European Commission through its Horizon 2020 scheme with a grant of £3.8 million.