On 14–15 July, the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing (SCAI) hosted the kick-off meeting of “ADIS” in Sankt Augustin (Germany).
ADIS stands for “Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer‘s Disease by Immune Profiling of Cytotoxic Lymphocytes and Recording of Sleep Disturbances”. The project is funded through the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND). JPND is the largest global research initiative aimed at tackling the challenge of neurodegenerative diseases.
The ADIS project will run for a period of three years with a budget of 1.3 million, distributed among 7 collaborators, including:
- Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing (SCAI), non-profit public research organization – project coordinator
- Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica (FCRB), clinical/public health research sector
- Tel Aviv University (TAU), university
- Alzheimer Europe (AE), patient organisation
- Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (ITEM-R), non-profit public research organization
- SeqOmics Biotechnology Ltd. (SO), small to medium commercial enterprise (SME)
- ImmunoBrain Checkpoint LTD (IBC), small to medium commercial enterprise (SME) – external collaborator
The newly formed consortium brings together EU-leading expertise in data science, biotechnology, clinical research as well as public involvement. As the project title already highlights, the partners aim to advance research into one of the most challenging conditions, Alzheimer’s disease.
Given the rising number of people affected and challenges around diagnosis (which often comes late in the disease course), new markers for the condition could be valuable to diagnose people earlier. In addition to this, project results could support more precise treatment research (patient stratification). As part of this, the project partners will analyze and compare aspects such as sleeping disturbances, peripheral inflammation, (neuro)inflammation and cognitive performance in:
- 25 healthy people,
- 25 people with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease as well as,
- 25 people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
These analyses will be conducted using different approaches, including latest single cell immune profiling technologies as well as artificial intelligence and advanced computational models of individual immune cells (agent-based modeling) with the potential to demonstrate links between different factors tied to the disease.
Apart from working with data and samples that are specifically collected for ADIS, project partners will also leverage on data that have been generated in previous studies to complement the analysis. The involvement of the public throughout the project duration will be ensured through Alzheimer Europe’s leading expertise and Europe-wide network.
“ADIS will leverage cutting edge science and technology in conjunction with long lasting clinical expertise to provide candidate biomarkers for earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. An earlier diagnosis means that treatments slowing down symptom worsening would have higher success chance in the future and that patients could better plan their life. I am very enthusiastic about the motivation and energy of the entire consortium to reach our ambitious goals and really looking forward to the upcoming three years of working together.” Project Coordinator, Prof. Dr. Holger Fröhlich