iDeAC –

Interdisciplinary Dementia and Ageing Centre

The problem…

The understanding of dementia and neurodegenerative disease, together with improved therapies and delivery of care for people with these conditions, is a pressing need in the UK, and the South Coast region is recognised as an area where these problems are particularly acute.

The role of iDeAC…

The Interdisciplinary Dementia and Ageing Centre (IDeAC), initiated and supported by the Institute for Life Sciences at the University of Southampton, has brought together local expertise from across the research spectrum to form a dedicated interdisciplinary dementia and ageing research centre to address the problems in this complex field.
The strength in iDeAC…
The strength in iDeAC is the close collaboration between academics (who are testing ideas), NHS staff (who are involved in day to day diagnosis and care), engineers (for technological development and modelling), mathematicians (for modelling processes that cannot be seen with any current method) and industry (who develop new treatments).

The iDeAC network…

The iDeAC network includes basic scientists, clinicians, health and social care delivery researchers, epidemiologists, imagers, mathematicians, and computing and data scientists. The network consists of four synergistic themes, each covering a range of specialties within the field of dementia research and care, with dedicated experienced theme leads.

iDeAC themes are innovative, creative, and inclusive, connecting people across boundaries for collaborative research that challenges accepted thinking and focuses on the problems of brain ageing and dementia across the health and social care continuum.

To join the iDeAC network, contact

Key themes:

Basic and Translational Science Theme

This theme benefits from existing expertise in basic science focusing on cell biology, vascular pathophysiology and neuroinflammation. Areas of interest include the maternal influence on fetal cerebrovascular development, the effects of diabetes and anti-diabetic drugs on models of tauopathy and the toxicity of different tau species to aid a molecular level understanding of dementia biology. The theme has expertise in neuronal and glial biology, cerebrovascular drainage pathways and the role of neuroinflammation in neurodegeneration, brain ageing and dementia.

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Clinical Trials and Therapeutics Theme

There is a long history of dementia, brain ageing and neurodegenerative disease trials in Southampton. The Memory Assessment and Research Centre (Moorgreen Hospital, Southern Health FT) has a strong track record of delivery in dementia trials and participated in the earliest trials of cognitive enhancing medication for dementia. At Southampton, the Neurosciences Research Group conducts Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials through the University Hospital Southampton NIHR CRF facility for a range of dementias.

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Dementia Care and Prevention Theme

Ultimately, dementia basic science and diagnostic advances need to be focused on the individual, their relationships and the wider community. This theme benefits from a strong research base in user-centred and care-delivery design, with particular focus on the dementia workforce. There is established work focusing on quality of life in dementia subgroups, and on evaluating the nature of care provision in the community. New models of care have been pioneered including digital self-management provision (My Medical Record).

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Diagnosis and Prognosis Theme

The Diagnosis and Prognosis theme links the basic science theme to clinical services. There is a strong history of cutting-edge neuropathology research in Southampton which has significantly advanced the field. There are established clinical services in place for evaluation of dementia diagnosis and provision of care. Existing strengths include dementia diagnostic imaging, with an imaging physics department that has expertise in structural and functional imaging, modelling and scientific computing. The neuropsychology team within this theme provide clinical diagnostic support to the region, and have interests in diagnostic test development within a clinical environment.

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